Laguna Atascosa Professional Review and Guide
"About 25 miles east of Harlingen. An easy day hike through the brushlands of Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge. Special Attractions: Birds and animals found nowhere else in the United States. The 45,000-acre Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1946 to preserve some of the Lower Rio Grande Valley's rapidly shrinking wildlife habitat. Today, with rapid urbanization and extensive agriculture, less than five percent of the valley's natural habitat remains.
The small remnants harbor many birds and animals found nowhere else in the United States, such as the ocelot, jaguarundi, green jay, chachalaca, and Harris' hawk. Because of habitat loss, some of these creatures are very rare and endangered. In addition to the unique species, the wildlife refuge's location along migration routes gives it a very high bird count among more common species."