Abilene Zoo guests chose ocelots as their favorite animal conservation project at their Quarters for Conservation kiosk this year.
On October 28, the zoo staff and guests were privileged to hear a presentation from Dr. Hilary Swarts, a field biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service working to save ocelots in South Texas.
She's bringing a check from the Abilene Zoological Society for $10,000 to the Friends of Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge to help save these beautiful felines.
Put a kitty on your car!
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Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge
22688 Buena Vista Blvd., Los Fresnos, TX 78566
Visitor Center & Friends Nature Store
Open 8 am - 4 pm
Thurs. - Monday
CLOSED Tuesdays and Wednesdays
Refuge open daily sunrise - sunset
FIRST SUNDAY OF THE MONTH
Enjoy the refuge trails free of charge all day on the first Sunday of every month. Please check in at the Visitor Center to get a required vehicle pass.
Due to a staff shortage, the Visitor Center will remain closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for the foreseeable future.
November - December, 2016 schedule
Bird Tours - starting Nov 19
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays 8:30 am - 12:30 pm
Experienced birders will take you in a comfortable shuttle bus to refuge birding hot spots where private vehicles are not allowed. Tours alternate between the Laguna Atascosa and Bahia Grande Units of the refuge. Reservations required, call 956-748-3607 ext. 111. $4 for adults (16+), $3 seniors (62+), under 16 free. Entrance fee of $3 per vehicle.
Bird Walks - starting Nov 19
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays 2 pm - 3 pm
Discover some of south Texas' specialty forest birds on a short, easy walk around the visitor center. Wheelchair accessible. FREE with paid entrance fee of $3 per vehicle.
December 3, 8, 9, 10, 16, 17, 22, 23 and 24 8:30-11:30 and 12:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Enjoy a guided tour through the habitats of the refuge including thornscrub forest, coastal prairie, wetlands and the scenic Laguna Madre. Discover the history of the refuge - both natural and cultural, see how lands are being managed for wildlife, and view the special wildlife that call deep south Texas home. Binoculars recommended. There will be 2-3 stops with short, optional walks. Tickets CASH or CHECK ONLY $4 for adults (16+), $3 seniors (62+), under 16 free. Reservations required. Call 956-748-3607 ext 111 for more information. Our shuttle bus is wheelchair accessible and air-conditioned.
The refuge is planning to use the open-air tram for Habitat Tours starting January 5. A shuttle service is also in the works for Sundays starting in December. More details in the next newsletter and the refuge website.
2016-17 Hunt Dates
Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge
The scouting period for all refuge hunts is the weekends of November 5 - 6, and November 12 - 13, 2016.
During the archery hunts, visitors may use the visitor center trails, Bayside Loop, Lakeside Drive, and Osprey Overlook only
Archery Hunt No. 1
Dates: November 18 - 22, 2016
Archery Hunt No. 2
Dates: November 25 - 29, 2016.
Archery Hunt No. 3
Dates: December 02 - 06, 2016.
During the firearm hunts, visitors may use the visitor center trails, Bayside Loop, Lakeside Drive, Osprey Overlook and the trails south of Lakeside Drive only.
Firearm Hunt No. 1
Dates: December 9 - 11, 2016
Firearm Hunt No. 2
Dates: December 16 - 18, 2016
Firearm Hunt No. 3
Dates: December 30, 2016 - January 1, 2017
Firearm Hunt No. 4
Dates: January 6 - 8, 2017
Firearm Hunt No. 5
Dates: January 13 - 15, 2017
Firearm Hunt No. 6
Dates: January 20 - 22, 2017
Firearm Hunt No. 7
Dates: January 27 - 29, 2017
Contact the Visitor Center Thursday through Monday at 956-748-3607 x111 or 956-244-2019 with any questions.
The last remaining ocelots
Unites States are found only in Texas. You can help save these beautiful endangered cats and help spread the word about protecting Texas Ocelots by buying this specialty license plate for your vehicle for only $30.00 additional. The non-profit organization, Friends of Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge .org, will receive $22 from the sale of every Save Texas Ocelots license plate, 100% of which will go to Ocelot Conservation. Plates can be purchased at any time and fees will be prorated. We thank YOU for helping keep ocelots thriving as part of our Great Texas Natural Heritage. To learn more go to
"Viva the Ocelot!"
Adopt an Ocelot
To learn more about the Adopt-an-Ocelot Program
Your donations help an oce-LOT!
The ocelot conservation program at Laguna Atascosa relies heavily on funds from generous donors. Here's a glimpse into what your donations could help fund
A donation of $250 is enough to fund a radio (VHF) collar.
A donation of $600 is enough to fund a trail camera.
A donation of $2,500 is enough to fund a GPS collar.
To help conserve ocelots by making a donation, visit the