Flora & Fauna
While the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum is small in size, it is rich in diversity of flora and fauna. The refuge is strategically located at the confluence of the Coastal Plain and the Piedmont Plateau. Plants and animals unique to each area mix within refuge boundaries.
The refuge also lies at the boundary between the northern and southern migratory ranges for birds along the eastern (Atlantic) flyway, which accounts for the high number of species (over 300) that have been recorded in and around the refuge.
Sadly, this unique mix of habitat types was not taken into consideration when, in the 20 years preceding the establishment of the refuge, its wetlands were plundered in the name of “development.” Many plant and animal species vanished as dredging and filling operations continued.
Today, though, in the care of the US Fish & Wildlife Service, there has been a significant return of wildlife species once thought to be forever lost to us. Over the last few years, we have seen the return of nesting eagles and egrets, osprey, wild turkeys, red foxes, clams, shad, and acres upon acres of wild rice.
We invite you to explore with us all that we have to offer!