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Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge facts for kids

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Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge
IUCN Category IV (Habitat/Species Management Area)
Location Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, United States
Area 31,216 acres (126.33 km2)
Established 1997
Governing body U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Website Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge

Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge was established in 1997 to conserve, protect and enhance the abundance and diversity of native plant, fish and wildlife species and the ecosystems on which they depend throughout the 7,200,000-acre (29,000 km2) Connecticut River watershed. The watershed covers large areas of Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut. It contains a great diversity of habitats, notably: northern forest valuable as nesting habitat for migrant thrushes, warblers and other birds; rivers and streams used by shad, salmon, herring,the endangered shortnose sturgeon and other migratory fishes; and an internationally significant complex of high-quality tidal fresh, brackish and salt marshes.

The refuge works in partnership with a wide variety of individuals and organizations to provide environmental education, to encourage and support appropriate habitat conservation and management on public and private lands, and to protect additional habitat.

The refuge has three cooperative visitor centers: in Colebrook, New Hampshire; at the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, Vermont; and Great Falls Discovery Center in Turners Falls, Massachusetts.

The refuge is named for Silvio O. Conte, a late, longtime member of the United States House of Representatives for Massachusetts who worked to preserve and protect the environment.

Areas

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Pondicherry Division in New Hampshire

The refuge currently consists of nine units (small tracts) and eight divisions (large tracts):

Connecticut

  • Deadman's Swamp Unit - 33 acres (13 ha) of wetlands and a riverine sand spit that hosts a federally listed beetle in Cromwell, Connecticut, closed to the public for resource protection.
  • Roger Tory Peterson Unit - Old Lyme, Connecticut, was once part of the estate of author and naturalist Roger Tory Peterson.
  • Salmon River Division - 425 acres (172 ha) located in the lower Connecticut River valley at the confluence of the Salmon River and the Connecticut River in Haddam, Connecticut.

Massachusetts

New Hampshire

Vermont

  • Nulhegan Basin Division - over 26,000 acres (11,000 ha) in Brunswick, Ferdinand, Bloomfield and Lewis, with the division headquarters and visitor contact station located in Brunswick.
  • Putney Mountain Unit - 285 acres (115 ha) which host a federally endangered plant, northeastern bulrush, in Putney and Brookline, Vermont.
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