Beavers at the Refuge, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Juvenile bald eagle, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Beaver swimming, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge trail camera photo
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Canada geese, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Carolina chickadee, photo by Al Francesconi
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Cinnamon fern, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Cottontail rabbit, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Eastern amberwing dragonfly, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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False turkey-tail fungus, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Grackles, red-winged blackbirds and starlings, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Gray squirrel, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge trail camera photo

Unexpected Wildlife Refuge is a protected natural habitat comprising 767 acres of pristine pine lands, forest, fields, bogs, streams and lakes. It provides a refuge to animals and plants indigenous to southern New Jersey; a place where wildlife can live freely and naturally without fear of being harmed at the hands of human beings. We began as the home of Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci and Cavit Buyukmihci, who dedicated their land to habitat preservation so that native wildlife and habitat could thrive. We are a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) entity, federal ID 23-7025010.
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Our Mission

Dragonfly, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

1. To obtain and protect habitat in the New Jersey Pinelands area so that indigenous animals and plants can have an unexploited opportunity to live;
2. To protect free-living (wild) animals from hunting, trapping, fishing and other consumptive activities by people;
3. To provide a "living classroom" for the public to study nature and appreciate the importance of wildlife and habitat protection; and
4. To work with individuals and communities to peacefully resolve conflicts with wildlife.

Secure the future of our Refuge

Unexpected Wildlife Refuge has launched an urgent appeal to help guarantee a safe future for the animals and plants living here

We have embarked on one of our largest and most important endeavors and we need your help. Our headquarters, crucial to the administration and protection of the Refuge, is in the process of being replaced. As well as being our office, the new building will also be home to the Refuge manager, a person who is crucial in maintaining the Refuge, patrolling and protecting it from unwanted intruders and providing guidance to Refuge visitors. In addition, we shall convert a second building to expand our education and volunteer center for those who come to learn from and enjoy this special wildlife habit in southern New Jersey...See More

Breaking News

Due to concerns over the coronovirus pandemic, we have regrettably had to cancel the Annual Earth Day Refuge Cleanup on 19 Apr 2020.

Great news: Beaver trapping and deer poaching bills are stopped!

Take Action to Help Wildlife

Please join the call for SeaQuest Woodbridge to release animals to sanctuaries

Please take action to help endangered and threatened plants in New Jersey

Please take action to end wildlife killing contests

Sick or injured wildlife?

Unexpected Wildlife Refuge is not involved in wildlife rehabilitation. Click here for our information page on this subject on what to do and, especially, what not to do.

Visiting the Refuge

We encourage people to visit our wonderful haven for wildlife. To schedule a visit...