Blackjack Peninsula (47,261 ac.) of Aransas Wildlife Refuge was established in 1937. ANWR is a coastal waterfowl refuge and a wintering ground for the only naturally migrating and breeding population of the Whooping Cranes (Grus americana). It is located approximately 60 miles northeast of Corpus Christi, Texas. Approximately 80,000 people visit the refuge each year, most of who arrive seeking the abundant bird species for which the refuge is so well known.

Ornithological Summary

The Blackjack Peninsula of ANWR is one of five areas federally designated critical habitat for the Whooping Crane, one of the endangered/threatened species best known in the refuge. Others include the Southern Bald Eagle, Northern Aplomado Falcon, and the Brown Pelican. ANWR has 93 species of birds documented as having nested on the refuge. ANWR provides a stopover and wintering area for more than 210 species of birds migrating in either the spring or fall, or both seasons.

Conservation Issues

Coastal marsh erosion.


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Wildlife Refuge.


Bayshore, brackish and freshwater marsh, wetlands, and liveoak uplands.
Designated critical winter habitat for Whooping Cranes.

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