Unexpected Wildlife Refuge began as the home of Cavit and Hope Buyukmihci, who dedicated their land to habitat preservation so that native wildlife and habitat could thrive.
Today we are a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization, supported entirely by private donations. The Board of Directors continues to maintain it as an inviolate sanctuary for wildlife and supports the promotion of humane education.
The 85 acres purchased by the Buyukmihcis in 1961 have grown to 767 acres of swamps, bogs, forests and lakes — an extensive habitat for species indigenous to the Southern New Jersey Pinelands region. The Refuge is the home to seven active beaver lodges located within Main Lake Branch, which flows through the Refuge. (Link to Google map: https://goo.gl/maps/Q6wJJ)
Visitation by appointment only. Call ahead to 856.697.3541.
Small groups. Dress appropriately in light colored clothes (ticks), tuck pants into socks, hiking or mud boots.
Guided tours are provided to groups of five, and each year approximately 200 visitors hike the ten miles of trails that wind through the Refuge property. Educational and reference materials are available to visitors at the Nature Center.
More than 100 bird houses provide nesting sites for bluebirds, chickadees, nuthatches, tufted titmice, crested flycatchers, tree swallows, prothonotary warblers, house wrens, wood ducks and screech owls. Most of the land is left undisturbed except for two acres of bluebird habitat that is mowed regularly. As many as six pairs of bluebirds nest in the Refuge, some of whom winter over, feeding on cedar berries deep in the swamps.
If you find sick or injured wildlife…
Please go to this link to find a licensed rehabilitator to help you: www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/rehablst.htm.
Support Unexpected Wildlife Refuge
We need your help!
The Unexpected Wildlife Refuge is supported entirely by private donations from individuals who have visited us or read about the refuge. The generosity of our supporters will allow us to continue to protect this special habitat and educate the public about its importance. Refuge expenses include local taxes, insurance premiums, truck repairs and insurance, and equipment maintenance. Please consider a small donation to our cause. You can do this on our Help UWR page, or contact UWR via mail or phone.
For several years now, donations to non-profits have been below the mark. People have to make choices between necessities, and sometimes the organizations that depend on the good graces of supporters are eliminated from the household budget. Unexpected Wildlife Refuge is no exception. And expenses keep going up.
We need your support now more than ever. Please help us keep up with taxes, insurance, printing and utility costs. Any donation you can make above your July $20 Beaver Defender renewal fee will be placed into our general operating budget. We run this beautiful and unique 767 acre wildlife refuge on a minuscule annual budget of $30,000. Compare that to other non-profit organizations, and you will realize how extremely frugal and careful we are with your contributions. We do not have bloated administrative salaries, retirement packages or healthcare options. Every penny you send goes directly into keeping this place safe and sound for the animals who live here.
Please make your tax deductible gift to Unexpected Wildlife Refuge and help us continue with our mission to preserve, protect and educate — we cannot do it without your help.