We’ve been here at Laguna Atascosa two weeks now and have a pretty good idea of our work duties. Tuesday will be a wildcard day. We will help out where needed and probably won’t know what we are going to do until that morning. Wednesday will be spent here at the refuge, counting ducks! It sounds like an easy task but is really a lot of work. (more on this later). Every other Thursday we will be going to the Bahia Grande Unit to count every bird we see (more on this later). And the Thursday we aren’t at Bahia Grande will be a wildcard day.
Before Laguna Atascosa was a National Wildlife Refuge, it was a gunnery range during WWII. Some of the bunkers are still standing. After WWII the gunnery range was given to the US Fish and Wildlife Service and Laguna Atascosa NWR was established in 1946. The 45,617 acre Laguna Atascosa Unit was established primarily for redhead ducks and other migratory birds.
In 2000, another 21,762 acres, the Bahia Grande Unit, became a part of Laguna Atascosa. This unit is closed to the public.
In 2003, the South Padre Island Unit became part of Laguna Atascosa. This unit includes 23,282 acres located north of the town of South Padre Island. This unit is made up of many small tracts of land with private lands in between. This unit is open to the public.
Today Laguna Atascosa NWR is 88,808 acres.
Stay tuned for more posts about our fun time here in South Texas!