The Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1943 to provide habitat for migratory birds. It consists of 6,761 acres, mostly wetland habitats, which support a variety of migratory birds and other wildlife. Shad Island and the 900 acre Maquam bog are designated as a Research Natural Areas and the refuge was designated as an Important Bird Area in partnership with the Audubon Society. In 2013, the Refuge in partnership with state of Vermont lands were designated a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention. A mosaic of wetland habitats offers opportunities to see and manage more than 200 species of birds. Fall migration features 20,000-25,000 migrating ducks. Nesting bald eagles, osprey, and a great blue heron colony are present on the refuge. The refuge also hosts the only nesting location for state endangered black terns. Missisquoi NWR protects and manages one of the most biologically diverse and significant wetland complexes in Vermont. Please note that most public use is permitted only on designated trails or along the Missisquoi River. Please consult the refuge office or website for areas which are closed to public use to protect sensitive wildlife and habitat.
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