Kirwin National Wildlife Refuge
702 Xavier Rd., Kirwin, KS 67644
Established in 1954, Kirwin National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is the first National Wildlife Refuge authorized in Kansas. The refuge, with nearly 10,778 acres, lies in the heart of the Central Flyway and is one of the last major feeding stops for waterfowl migrating between wintering areas to the south and their northern breeding grounds. It includes the lake, riparian woodlands, nearly 4,000 acres of mixed-grass prairie, and about 2,000 acres of cultivated land.
The primary purpose of Kirwin NWR is to conserve, maintain, and manage wildlife and habitat for migratory birds. It is located in the rolling hills and narrow valley of the North Fork of the Solomon River in north-central Kansas. The refuge lies in an area where the tall grass prairies of the east meet the short grass plains of the west. As a result, grasses and wildlife common to both habitats are found on the refuge. Over 10,000 migrating waterfowl can be seen on the refuge during fall through early winter. Other migratory birds, including the endangered whooping crane pictured above, can be found on the refuge.