Friends of Patuxent
Supporting Research, Wildlife Conservation, and Education at the Patuxent Research Refuge
Wildlife & Plants of the Refuge
Occupying the largest remaining green space between Baltimore and Washington, DC, Patuxent Research Refuge is home to a large variety of plants and animals.
Both North and South Tracts offer opportunities to the public for viewing wildlife – over 250 species of birds; mammals such as deer, beavers and foxes; wetland creatures such as frogs, toads, turtles, and salamanders; and colorful insects such as butterflies, moths, dragonflies and damselflies. The Refuge provides habitats for more than 230 species of animals that are in need of conservation.
And plants are just as significant, as the plant communities on the Refuge provide the habitats that shelter and feed the wildlife. The Refuge has documented the existence of approximately 1,250 species of plants on the Refuge, including some that are rare, threatened, or endangered.
About 76% of the Refuge (10,000 acres out of the total 12,841 acres) is covered by forest of some type. Refuge forests contribute to one of the largest blocks of contiguous forested habitat in the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain. Other habitat types include grasslands/old fields, emergent freshwater marshes, shrub and early succession forest communities, and man-made ponds and lakes.
For detailed information about the habitats, plants, and wildlife found on the Refuge, as well as the Refuge's approach to conservation, see the Refuge's Comprehensive Conservation Plan (2013), especially Chapter 3.