San juan nature reserve: Las Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve

San Juan Islands National Wildlife Refuge

Except for parts of Matia and Turn Islands, this Refuge is closed to the public.

To prevent disturbance to sensitive seabirds and marine mammals, all islands within the San Juan Islands National Wildlife Refuge, excluding public use areas on Matia and Turn Islands, are closed to public access, and the surrounding waters within 200 yards are closed to watercraft.

Island Wonder — Scattered pearls in a sparkling sea, the San Juan Islands nurture layers of life. Black oystercatchers scold kayakers as harbor seals lounge on sandy beaches and sea stars stalk the water’s edge.

The rocks, reefs and islands of the San Juan Islands National Wildlife Refuge were set aside in 1960 to provide important habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife. Black oystercatchers, Double-crested and Pelagic cormorants, rhinoceros auklets, and pigeon guillemots are among the bird species that nest on Refuge islands. Harbor and elephant seals regularly use the shorelines to rest, molt and give birth to pups. Additionally, the untrammeled islands are home several rare plants including brittle prickly-pear cactus, bear’s foot sanicle, and California buttercup.

Select opportunities to explore the Refuge islands may be found by foot, boat, and car. Most of the Refuge consists of small, wilderness islands whose fragile habitats are closed to human activities, enforced by a 200 yard off-shore buffer zone. Two refuge islands, Turn and Matia, have overnight campgrounds operated by Washington State Parks and short hiking trails for adventurous visitors. The Refuge is within the bounds of the Cascadia Marine Trail, a premiere water trail for non-motorized boaters. For those travelling by car, the Washington State Ferry routes from Anacortes to the San Juan Islands wend past several refuge islands.

With every drop of water you drink, every breath you take, you’re connected to the sea. No matter where on Earth you live. — Sylvia Earle

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San Juan Islands National Wildlife Refuge provides visitors with a unique opportunity to experience an island environment. Taking the time to learn more about the Refuge before you visit will help you to get the most out of your journey.

Location and Contact Information

About Us

San Juan Islands National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1960. In 1975, it was consolidated with Smith Island NWR (est. 1914), Matia Island NWR (est. 1937) and Jones Island NWR (est. 1937) and additional islands were adopted under the name of San Juan Islands NWR. The purpose of the Refuge is to “. . . facilitate the management of migratory birds for which the United States has a responsibility under international treaties and to further effectuate the purposes of the Migratory Bird Conservation Act.” Smith and Minor Islands also retain their original establishing purpose “. . . as a preserve, breeding ground and winter sanctuary for native birds.

Note: Bold language is from the original establishing legislation.

What We Do

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Resource Management

The islands that make up San Juan Islands National Wildlife Refuge are managed for a variety of purposes, including as a preserve for native birds, as a breeding ground for migratory birds, and to preserve the unique wilderness island character found in the San Juan Islands. Management activities on the Refuge include surveys and monitoring of wildlife, invasive species

invasive species

An invasive species is any plant or animal that has spread or been introduced into a new area where they are, or could, cause harm to the environment, economy, or human, animal, or plant health. Their unwelcome presence can destroy ecosystems and cost millions of dollars.

Learn more about invasive species

management, and reduction of human-caused wildlife disturbance. In keeping with the primary goals of managing the Refuge for the benefit of wildlife, most of the islands are closed to human use. However, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages Turn and Matia Island in conjunction with Washington State Parks to provide visitors an opportunity to experience the wild nature of the islands.

Our Organization

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Washington Maritime National Wildlife Refuge Complex

San Juan Islands National Wildlife Refuge is managed as one of six refuges in the Washington Maritime National Wildlife Refuge Complex. A Refuge Complex is an administrative grouping of two or more refuges, wildlife management areas or other conservation areas that are primarily managed from a central location. Refuges are grouped into a complex structure


Something temporarily or permanently constructed, built, or placed; and constructed of natural or manufactured parts including, but not limited to, a building, shed, cabin, porch, bridge, walkway, stair steps, sign, landing, platform, dock, rack, fence, telecommunication device, antennae, fish cleaning table, satellite dish/mount, or well head.

Learn more about structure

because they occur in a similar ecological region, such as a watershed or specific habitat type, and have a related purpose and management needs. Typically, a project leader or complex manager oversees the general management of all refuges within the complex while refuge managers may be responsible for operations at specific refuges. Supporting staff are generally, but not always, centrally located and support all refuges within the complex.

The Washington Maritime Complex is headquartered at the Dungeness NWR near Sequim, WA.

Our Species

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The San Juan Islands National Wildlife Refuge provides a serene haven for large numbers of the birds in the Salish Sea. Most of the Refuge consists of rocky islands with an occasional pocket beach, stand of trees, or patch of grass. Despite their barren appearance, many birds flock to these island shelters, preferring the isolation from predators and human activities. A handful of the islands support small communities of rare plants that cannot survive amongst the hubbub of the human population. Marine mammals, such as harbor seals, can frequently be seen bobbing offshore or resting at the water’s edge.


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The Refuge islands support boisterous populations of birds. Black oystercatchers scold from the water’s edge while bald eagles circle above.




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The rocks, reefs, and islands of the Refuge provides important habitat for both land and marine mammals. Harbor and elephant seals rest on shorelines and feed in the surrounding waters.


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Healthy habitats are critical to supporting wildlife populations. For many animals in the region the refuge islands are the only place where they can find an environment undisturbed by humans.


Species Directory

Our Library

Brochures and Publications

Projects and Research

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  • Wildlife Surveys
  • Habitat Restoration

San Juan National Historic Site • Nature Reserve » outdooractive.



Points Puerto Rico San Juan National Historic Site

Plan a route here



San Juan National Historic Site preserves stories of great ambition and aspirations. Countries fought for control of this tiny yet strategic island for centuries. Generations of soldiers have lived and worked within the forts. Visitors today are as inspired by these stories as they are by the beauty of the architecture and the ingenuity of design and engineering of this World Heritage Site.

From Luis Muсoz Marнn International Airport
— Get on Expreso Romбn Baldorioty de Castro/PR-26 from Av. Aeropuerto

— Merge onto Expreso Romбn Baldorioty de Castro/PR-26

— Follow Avenida Luis Muсoz Rivera to Calle Norzagaray, Old San Juan


18. 468739, -66.118486


18°28’07.5″N 66°07’06.6″W


19Q 804331 2044472



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1% of the national territory: what the Campo San Juan Federal Park looks like, the new Misiones Wildlife Sanctuary

Intense greenery that floods the eyes, fresh air, calm waters and the sounds of various bird species — this is the great wealth of the Campo Federal Park San Juan with an area of ​​ 5130 hectares, located in the city of Santa Ana in Misiones. It consists of twelve land fractions that create different environments: meadows, mountain mogotes, gallery jungles and palm groves, where various species of mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles coexist. In addition, the tourist route 12 of the province is closed. nine0007

Its creation, for the first time with joint management between the Nation and Misiones, will make a significant contribution to the conservation of biological diversity, the National Parks Administration explained, because this new wildlife sanctuary is a region that represents less than 1% of the territory of national and poorly protected natural areas in the Federal System of Protected Natural Areas . Among the cultural treasures, it preserves part of the local history from the beginning of the 20th century Ingenio San Juan operated in the area. nine0007

Pablo Weissman (45) will be watching him and waiting for the decree that will formally appoint him mayor of the park. “ It will be very difficult to start from scratch and put a personal mark on this area, which also includes working with the municipality, province, recruitment, finding the fire brigade, etc. ,” says the former mayor of the Formosa Nature Reserve and National Sierra de Las Quijadas Park in San Luis.

Campo San Juan Park Reserve, which has not yet received tourism, distributes beautiful postcards all year round (National Parks Administration)

His task will be to manage the area and chair a five-member Steering Committee, which will also be made up of Mission and National Park (NPC) representatives, to determine together what actions will be taken. Since last year, have begun to draw up a plan for fighting fires, where there are more than 200 types of pastures.

The purpose of the new reserve, according to APN, is to provide opportunities for educational trips and eco-tourism, to promote the conservation of biological diversity, to conserve samples of key ecosystems under conditions of minimal anthropological change, to preserve biotic communities under conditions in a comprehensive and permanent manner, and to provide opportunities for scientific research . nine0007

« A wildlife sanctuary is very similar to a national park in terms of restrictions and opportunities for development . Infrastructure must be minimal and limited to visitor services, control, surveillance and research. Another difference is that in the case of national parks, each province must transfer jurisdiction over the territory to the Nacion,” explains Weissman, a native of El Palomar, Buenos Aires province, and park rangers for 20 years. nine0007

A place with history: an old sugar factory, a cemetery and relations with Yasireta

Since 1883, Ingenio San Juan, the most important sugar company in Misiones, has been operating on the Campo San Juan estate. The mill was founded by Governor Rudesindo Roca, brother of Julio Argentino, who «endowed it with cutting edge technology», as explorers Valeria Bauni and Marina Homberg tell their story in book Reserva Campo San Juan .

Since 1883, Ingenio San Juan, the most important sugar company in Misiones, has been operating in Campo San Juan (Misiones government archive). nine0002 So it remained until the end of the 19th century, when it led a French company. Since 1905, she has been engaged in animal husbandry, and from 1983 to 1984 she began to engage in forestry, maintaining an area of ​​​​more than 40 hectares of plantations Pinus elliottii . In that decade, this area was identified “as a possible compensation zone that the binational entity of Yasireta could acquire in Misiones. At that time, part of the current land on the banks of the Parana River was called Puerto San Juan and covered an area of ​​​​about 250 hectares, ”the book quotes. nine0007

The Puerto San Juan Private Reserve was established there by provincial decree in 1997, and its overall objective was to conserve species and genetic diversity in a wilderness area representing the Campos y Malesales Ecoregion, where the existing area of ​​subtropical forest and biodiversity of protected, as well as indigenous peoples seeking environmental restoration. However, in 2009, the land and surrounding lands were acquired by the Yasireta Bi-National Entity and the land acquisition was completed to create a reserve that today covers an area of ​​about 5,100 hectares. nine0007

This location has two ranger houses, a helmet under renovation, and has yet to be assessed what type of infrastructure it will have for tourism. They are currently considering creating interpretive trails and excursions for birdwatching, biking and hiking.

The area of ​​the site is over 5,100 hectares (Jonathan Golovesky/Government of Missions)

The reserve has a seven-kilometer central road leading to the Parana River and three other internal roads, which are currently used for control and observation, as well as for scientific research. nine0007

It also represents a transition between the biogeographic provinces of Paranaense and Chaco with elements of the Cerrado, an undulating plain with a grassy matrix and patches of Paranaense or mission jungle scattered in islets.

It is bordered to the west by the Parana River, to the north by the Santa Ana Creek and to the south by Arroyo San Juan . This state, surrounded by streams, allows for the presence of species closely associated with the resources available in the environments where the primordial jungle was. observed in a gallery with a high degree of preservation. In addition, various habitats are represented, such as jungle, islands of native forests, flooded areas, rocky lands, meadows and meadows.

Map of the location of the new nature reserve prepared by researchers Valeria Bauni and Marina Homberg in the book Campo San Juan Reserves

These fields shelter populations of endangered species of fauna such as Burrito Ocelado, Yellowbird, Tachouri Coludo, Yetapa Grande, Chunya , Redfoot, Yapu, Rhea, Blue Magpie, Anapero Chico and Mosqueta-ear Negra, therefore it has been declared an Area of ​​Importance for Bird Conservation due to its ecological values ​​which allow it to be present among other species. nine0007

In addition, there are records of two obscure turtle species ( Mesoclemmys vanderhaegei and Phrynops geoffroanus ) and three false coral species (false ground coral, false ground coral and false ground coral from Kyrogy). Among the endangered ophidia are the orange-bellied water snake, southern estuary artificial coral, musurana hill, Brazilian musurana and nariguda false coral, whose populations in our country need urgent conservation measures. nine0007

This new protected area is the first of several that are in the process of being created for the 2022 agenda, which “aims to expand the protected area by 20% and the marine land area by 100%” , says Nación that , if achieved, will be a historic achievement in Argentina, in line with a policy that is in demand throughout the world.

Campos San Juan has the level of protection of a natural wildlife reserve, which entails the conditions for the conservation and sustainable use of its natural resources (Jonatan Holoveski/Government of Misiones)

Its establishment as a wildlife sanctuary was announced at an event chaired by Prime Minister Juan Manzur and Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development Juan Cabandie, along with Misiones Governor Oscar Herrera Auad and Interior Minister Vado de Pedro.

“Campo San Juan Federal Park is much more than just a name, it is an urgent need that we as officials have to overcome the asymmetries we have in Argentina,” Cabandier said. In turn, the missionary governor said: «We are celebrating the creation of Campo San Juan, we are celebrating over 5,000 hectares of life and history for Argentina and for Misiones.» nine0007

In accordance with the Law No. 22,351 on the National System of Protected Areas and the Decree of the National Executive No. 453/1994 and the Decree of the National Executive No. 453/1994, Wildlife Sanctuary is protected, which implies the conservation and rational use of its natural resources.


Fires in Corrientes: almost 800,000 hectares already affected, 9% of the total area of ​​the province

When the rains come in Corrientes: relief that awaits an entire province in the midst of wildfires

Motion picture of a firefighter reflecting the drama of the fires in Corrientes

Latin America: Attractions of the Rio San Juan Department


Attractions of the department of Rio San Juan

Rio San Juan
— the southernmost region of Nicaragua, bordering Costa Rica. His name was given by the shipping
the San Juan River, which connects the Great Lake of Nicaragua (Kosibolka) with
Caribbean Sea, and the territorial boundaries also include the Solentiname archipelago.
The whole department is a really attractive place with
lush wildlife, lakes and rivers, historical buildings and ruins
and, in general, a rich cultural heritage. nine0007

Lake Nicaragua

on the shore of the lake there is a line of restaurants, hotels, green areas for
recreation, as well as a dock where you can take a boat for walks. Usually,
guests of San Carlos are curious to visit the archipelago
is a group of 36 islands inhabited since pre-Columbian times.
The islanders are engaged in agriculture, artisanal fishing, and
handicrafts brought them popularity. The largest islands in the archipelago are
Mancarron, La Venada and San Fernando — they are worth a visit to join the
local culture, while others are good for birdwatching and other
fauna representatives. nine0007

from the source of the San Juan there are two reserves, Los Guatusos
located on the southern shore of the lake, and Esperanza Verde
— on the banks of the river. The Los Guatusos Reserve owes its name to the Indian community,
in it you can visit the ecological center, the village, nurseries of turtles and
caimans. Esperanza Verde is located between the San Juan and Frio rivers. Guests
of this reserve you can watch hundreds of species of birds and relax in the local

Carbonero-Rosales workshop

one attraction of San Carlos is the Carbonero Rosales artisan workshop, representing
the famous balsa wood crafts from the Solentiname Islands. Owners
the workshop is happy to tell visitors about the manufacturing process
toys and show a small exhibition gallery.


Landscapes of Almendro

is the northern municipality of the department, whose economy is based on
animal husbandry. Its main attraction lies in the abundance of rivers,
crossing the area, including the channel of Tepenaguazapa. This river
has many swimming spots with waterfalls and beautiful scenery. One of
of them, El Zapotal, is only four kilometers from the town. Same
interesting is the central square, which is a place for the sale of regional cheeses. nine0007




this municipality has no great architectural structures other than the old fort.
This military facility was built in the Spanish tradition on top of a hill
to protect against incursions of foreigners into the territory of Nicaragua, and thus
it entered the Atlantic network of defensive fortresses. In 1670 the English
the pirates managed to plunder it, but she saw the most fierce battles in
the next century, when the British allied themselves with the warring tribes
Miskito and Sambo. Subsequently, Fortalesa Inmaculada-Concepción was used
like a prison, and now its premises have been transferred to a small museum, and everyone
can view information stands and collections of everyday life items
natives and weapons. nine0007

the municipality is the small town Boca de Zabalos .
Next to it are protected areas of the rainforest, farms and
several thermal springs used as places of rest and relaxation. Infrastructure
The town includes simple hostels, but there are also more impressive hotels.


Mall in Morrito

— a municipality located on the shores of Lake Nicaragua.

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