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  • Sunday, August 30, 2020 2:59 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The exciting news of the summer of 2020 is that groundwork has started for the new Visitor Center, to replace the old building that sustained hurricane damage in August 2017. The road to the old parking area has been blocked off, with a temporary road made to the restrooms across from the Visitor Contact Station (which remains closed due to COVID-19).  At the last FAMI Board meeting (via Zoom) Refuge Manager Joe Saenz and Visitor Services Manager Laura Bonneau shared some information on the plans for the new Visitor Center. The building will be home for the administrative offices, and the public area will include a check-in and information desk, an exhibit and interpretive area, a meeting room and the FAMI Nature Store and office.

    The road to the parking area will continue behind the new building and rejoin the main refuge road a short distance beyond the Alligator Viewing Area. There are plans for more trails around the new center, including a path from the building down to the existing platform for viewing alligators in Tomas Slough.

    Expect to see some changes when you next visit the Refuge!

  • Sunday, April 26, 2020 10:05 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    During the current public health emergency, whenever possible, outdoor recreation sites at national wildlife refuges will remain open to the public.

    The Secretary of the Interior, David Bernhardt has directed national wildlife refuges to temporarily suspend the collection of entrance fees until further notice.

    Read the news release here

    At the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge the Visitor Contact Station is closed, as is the FAMI Nature Store, part of the effort to promote social isolation and prevent spread of the virus. Visitors are encouraged to follow CDC guidelines and keep a safe distance between yourself and others.

  • Monday, March 16, 2020 10:59 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Read an account from Wade Harrell, U.S. Whooping Crane Recovery Coordinator, of the annual crane abundance survey done this year.

    Read update here

  • Sunday, June 09, 2019 3:02 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Demolition of the Visitor Center is underway at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. The Claude F. Lard Visitor Center, built in 1980, took on extensive damage from Hurricane Harvey in August 2017. So farewell to an old friend, while looking forward to the replacement building.

  • Thursday, February 07, 2019 10:37 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Weather permitting, survey flights were started in the first week of February to get an overall estimate of the wintering whooping crane population.

    Follow this link for the latest update from Dr Wade Harrell, US Whooping Crane Recovery Coordinator (link to FWS website).

  • Tuesday, January 29, 2019 10:48 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    With the end to the government shutdown, the Aransas NWR has resumed full operations as of Monday, January 28, 2019.

    Thank you for your continuing support. (And let's hope the government stays open...)

  • Thursday, August 23, 2018 3:49 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Great news! The estimate for whooping cranes in the Aransas-Wood Buffalo population for the winter of 2017-18 is 505 birds. This estimate included at least 49 juveniles and 183 adult pairs. See the full report here.

  • Thursday, August 16, 2018 5:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The FAMI Nature Store is currently opening at weekends.  The store is now in a free-standing building close to the Visitor Contact Station. Come by and enjoy a visit to the Refuge, and stop in to see what there is in the Nature Store.

  • Friday, June 16, 2017 9:29 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    There's exciting news from Wood Buffalo, via Friends of the Wild Whoopers. See their website for nesting information.

  • Tuesday, March 07, 2017 11:35 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Members are invited to join us Saturday, March 25, for our Spring Member Event: a trip to the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge Myrtle Foester Whitmire Unit. Refuge staff will give us a behind the scenes tour of the unit.

     Closed to the public, the Whitmire Unit is an important resting area for migratory waterfowl and other birds. It's quite an interesting unit. Unlike the other units, there is active management of water levels. There are also cattle on the unit, in a controlled grazing project.

     The plan is to meet at the La Salle Monument in Indianola (see Google Map) at 8:30 a.m. and travel to the unit in refuge vehicles. You'll need to wear long pants and boots or closed toe walking shoes. Be sure to bring water, snacks, and insect repellent. You'll probably want to also bring binoculars and/or a camera. If you have a spotting scope, you might want to bring that also.

     The tour will include both driving and walking. We expect it to end by 1:30.

     For those that want to spend more time in the area, there's food available nearby. There is a historic cemetery at Indianola that can be good for birding during migration, and Texas Ornithological Society has a bird sanctuary at Magic Ridge, between Indianola & Magnolia Beach. With all the warm weather, early migrants may be coming through.

    This is a members only event, so members won't be able to bring guests unless they join FAMI. New members will be eligible to reserve a space upon receipt of membership dues.  Our group will be limited to 15 people, so please be sure to RSVP at You should get a confirmation within 24 hours. If your membership is anything other than individual, you should specify how many will be attending. Feel free to email the same address if you have any questions. 


    Current members should have received an email invitation. If you are a current member and did not receive an email, please contact


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