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The Butte Sink Wildlife Management Area has the highest concentration of waterfowl per acre in the world, with typical wintering populations of more than 300,000 ducks and 100,000 geese.1 About 60% of the waterfowl population in the Pacific Flyway and 20% of the waterfowl population in North America spend the winter in California's Central Valley.2 Because 95% of Central Valley wetlands have been drained or filled in over the past 100 years,3 native waterfowl have become increasingly dependent upon refuges such as this one.
The Butte Sink National Wildlife Refuge is part of the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex, which also includes the Sutter National Wildlife Refuge, Colusa National Wildlife Refuge, Delevan National Wildlife Refuge, Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, and Sacramento River National Wildlife Refuge.
Rare birds seen at the Butte Sink National Wildlife Refuge include the Aleutian cackling goose and yellow-billed cuckoo. Other rare species such as the giant garter snake, winter-run and spring-run chinook salmon, and Central Valley rainbow trout also live in the refuge.
The refuge was authorized in 1976 and established in 1980, in accordance with the Migratory Bird Conservation Act of 1929, to protect winter habitat for waterfowl. Additional land was acquired in 1988 with funds from the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp Act of 1934 and the Land and Water Conservation Act of 1965.
Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex: Butte Sink Wildlife Management Area Bird Checklists of the United States: Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex Ducks Unlimited: Butte Basin NAWCA II: Butte Sink NWR Enhancement Butte Sink National Wildlife Refuge—Boundaries
1. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: Butte Sink Wildlife Management Area
2. Ducks Unlimited: Butte Basin NAWCA II: Butte Sink NWR Enhancement
3. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: Butte Sink Wildlife Management Area