The Refuge

Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) consists of 35,000 acres of Federal land that represents a diverse biological community. The Refuge was established on July 7,1938 by Executive Order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt as the first National Wildlife Refuge placed on a multi-purpose reservoir to provide habitat for wintering and migrating birds. Considered the easternmost Refuge in the Mississippi flyway, it attracts thousands of wintering waterfowl each year and is home to Alabama's largest wintering duck population.
The Refuge also supports the largest concentration of Sandhill Cranes in the state and is the winter home for an increasing number of the endangered Whooping Crane. The cranes (Sandhills and Whooping) can be easily viewed from the comfort of the Wildlife Observation Building which is a short walk from the Visitor Center.

We publish a Quarterly Newsletter about

what is going on at the refuge.
You can download copies of recent

issues by clicking on the following links.


January 2020 


April 2018


July 2018

News Articles: 

Decatur Daily Festival of the Cranes 2020


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