Humboldt State University

T. Luke George, Ph.D.

707 826 3430

Wright Wildlife Refuge

In 1989 the estate of Ellen Wright deeded a small parcel of land to be used as a wildlife refuge to the Humboldt Area Foundation. In her will, Ellen Wright envisioned an "Urban Wildlife Refuge" that would serve the community by providing shelter and habitat for wildlife native to the Eureka area, enhancing wildlife values for the surrounding urban landscape, and providing opportunities for wildlife education. These principles provide the guidelines and objectives for the future management and administration of the Urban Wildlife Field Station.

Four graduate students and numerous undergraduate students have conducted wildlife-related research at the refuge. Mollie Hurt was the first graduate student to conduct research at the refuge in 1994, she completed her masters degree in 1996. She was followed by Arriana Brand who finished in 1998, Jenny Allen who finished in 2002, and Rebecca Rall who will finish her data collection in 2003. All of the research f ocused on the effects of habitat fragmentation on birds inhabiting redwood forests. To learn more about their research, go to my page on Current and Former Graduate Students or see my Selected Publications web page.

The property is managed under a joint agreement between the Humboldt Area Foundation, the Department of Wildlife at Humboldt State University, and the Humboldt State University Foundation. Consistent with Ellen Wright’s will, several research and education programs have been established at the refuge.

In 1993, a bird-banding program was established at the refuge following the Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survival (MAPS) protocol. Since that time, dozens of Humboldt State University (HSU) students have learned to band birds following the MAPS protocol through our banding training program.

Members of the bird-banding crew at the Wright Wildlife Refuge in 2003. Left to right, Amanda Auston, Skip Shoemaker, Adriana Guzman, Steve Quartieri, Rheannon Okey, Becky Pierce (graduate assistant), Rob Fowler, Tammy Branston, Kim Barner, and Luke George (faculty advisor). Not pictured, Steve Mullin, Whitney Crombie, and Ryan Clark.

Pacific-slope Flycatcher

Local schools visit the refuge as part of the banding education program that was established in 1994.