click to learn more.

  • Refuge open daily, sunrise to sunset. Use self-pay station outside the Visitor Center if Visitor Center is closed.  $3 per vehicle entrance fee.

  • Bayside Drive, the refuge's 14 mile auto tour loop, is temporarily CLOSED to private vehicle traffic, bicycles, and pedestrians to protect endangered ocelots.  

  • Buena Vista Road is open. THE SPEED LIMIT IS 25 MPH!

  • Refuge walking and biking trails are open 7 days a week, sunrise to sunset.

  • Visitor Center is open 8 AM to 4 PM, Thursday through Monday. Call 956 748-3607, ext. 111 for information.

©2019 by Friends of Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge.

415 Species of Birds
45 Mammals
44 kinds of Reptiles
130 Butterfly species
450 plant species
Including the
Ocelot, Northern Aplomado Falcon, and the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle


Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge

Known as the last great habitat in coastal south Texas, the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) supports a diversity of wildlife unlike anywhere else in the United States.  The refuge is made up of four major units: the Laguna Atascosa Unit, the South Padre Island Units, the recently restored Bahia Grande Unit, and the Coastal Corridor Unit, adding up to more than 90,000 acres. 


With the refuge’s primary mission of providing habitat for native wildlife, Laguna Atascosa is home to a wide diversity of species.  Visitors can enjoy many birds, from green jays and plain chachalacas, to Altamira orioles and aplomado falcons.   Fall and spring bring migratory songbirds and peregrine falcons, and winter is the time to see sandhill cranes, redhead ducks and many other waterfowl. Common mammals include bobcat, coyote and javelina, but more elusive are the endangered ocelot and jaguarundi. Reptiles lovers can spot the American alligator, indigo snake, Texas tortoise, western diamondback rattlesnake and coral snake at the Refuge.  The South Padre Island Unit provides nesting habitat for sea turtles - Kemp’s ridley, loggerhead, hawksbill and Atlantic green.

Visitors can connect with nature through a variety of activities including fishing, hunting, wildlife observation and photography, bicycling, hiking and interpretive tours and programs.  A Visitor Center with exhibits, restrooms, and a nature store is available.

For more information, including hours of operation and tour schedules, please visit the refuge's official website or call the Visitor Center 956-748-3607 ext 111.  Click here to learn more.

Ocelot Soiree

March 6, 2020


Sea Turtle, Inc.

South Padre Island

Tickets are $50 per person


Tickets may be purchased online or at the Nature Store at Laguna Atascosa or by calling 956-832-3905.

Ocelot Soiree
March 6, 2020
6 – 11 PM
Sea Turtle, Inc., South Padre Island
$50 per person
Tickets available at Nature Store at Laguna Atascosa NWR;
online at; or call 956-832-3905
Live Auction
Live Ocelot presentation
Movie:  The River and the Wall
Presentations by Jeff George of Sea Turtle, Inc., Dr. Bill Swanson of the Cincinnati Zoo
Catered by Chef Bettina of Marcello’s
Beverages provided by Padre Island Brewing Company
Friends of Laguna Atascosa
Afternoon with an Ocelot
March 7, 2020
Noon – 4 PM
Longhorn Cattle Company, San Benito
See a live Ocelot, meet the The Texas Zoo staff and learn about Ocelots in in informal setting
Ocelot themed items for sale
Friends of Laguna Atascosa

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Ocelot Conservation Day
March 8, 2020
10 AM – 4 PM
Gladys Porter Zoo, Brownsville
Free with zoo admission
Learn about the endangered Ocelots and what is being done to keep them in Texas. Presentations will include a live Ocelot. 
Fun activities for kids of all ages.
Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge

Stay up to date with

Laguna Atascosa

Sign up to receive our monthly newsletter about upcoming events, opportunities, Refuge conservation projects, and more!

New license plates are out!

Help support Texas Ocelots while riding in STYLE!  $22 of your $30 goes towards ocelot conservation.

Join Us

The Friends of Laguna Atascosa NWR is made up of people like you who care about the Refuge and the incredible and unique diversity of plants and wildlife found here.  


We are conservationists, wildlife watchers, volunteers, birders, photographers, students, outdoor enthusiasts, ranchers, educators, nature lovers, anglers, hunters, business people and more.


Established in 1997 as a 501(3)c non-profit organization, our purpose is to protect, support and enhance the Refuge. 


Friends receive funding through memberships, grants, sponsorships, and donations, 100% of which goes toward wildlife conservation.  Please Join Us In Our Wildlife Conservation Efforts!

Become a "Friend

A "Friend" cares about wildlife and Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge.  By becoming a Friend you will receive periodic information about Friends and the Refuge via email.  You'll be the first to know about Refuge and Friends events, volunteer and intern opportunities, ongoing conservation projects, and more.  


There is no cost to become a "Friend". 


Become an Advocate

In addition to the benefits of becoming a Friend, an Advocate demonstrates a commitment to the mission of the Friends organization with a $35.00 annual membership fee.  100% of your membership fee supports wildlife conservation. 


Advocates receive a $10 annual refuge pass for Laguna Atascosa and Santa Ana NWR, are eligible to vote in board elections, and can run for a position on the board of directors.

Make a Donation

Be assured that 100% of your donation will benefit wildlife.  Donations are used for high priority refuge projects such as:


• Habitat Acquisition 

• Habitat Management 

• Ocelot Conservation 

• Aplomado Falcon Conservation - 

• Feed The Birds 


Even if you can't make a monetary donation, you can still donate your time to the Friend's group.  We are always looking for more volunteers to help with our Nature Store in the Refuge's visitor center and at our events.  Laguna Atascosa NWR also takes volunteers for maintenance, visitor services, tours, and other areas as they come up.  

Around The Refuge