US Geological Survey


Date of this Version



Published in Perry, M. C. , ed., The History of Patuxent –America’s Wildlife Research Story (2016) U. S. Geological Survey Circular 1422, 255 p.


US govt work


The Patuxent Wildlife Research Center (Patuxent), first known as the Patuxent Research Refuge, has a long and rich history of participation in the Department of Interior’s (DOI) cooperative efforts to protect and conserve migratory birds in North America. This chapter describes many of the events and the people involved that constitute this important timeline for international conservation of a shared wildlife resource. The Patuxent Research Refuge, renowned worldwide, is part of the National Wildlife Refuge System of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) that has, at different times and under a variety of organizational iterations, provided the physical location of Patuxent, the Migratory Bird Population Station (MBPS), the Migratory Bird and Habitat Research Laboratory (MBHRL), and the Laurel Branch of the Office of Migratory Bird Management (MBMO, now Division of Migratory Bird Management [DMBM]). This chapter also emphasizes the interrelations between the management objectives of the USFWS and the research program at Patuxent. Following incorporation of the research program into the National Biological Survey (NBS) and subsequently into the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Migratory Bird program took on new identities, while the management functions continued to evolve within the USFWS despite these changes. Nevertheless, the USFWS and other agencies such as the National Park Service (NPS) were longstanding “clients” of the research community within DOI, and many of the former linkages between management and research were maintained.