Fish and Wildlife service the river supports 64 "rare and imperiled" species of both plants and wildlife. It is not surprising that a section of the river was selected out to be preserved as a national wildlife refuge. What is surprising is that Cahaba River was not designated as a refuge until 2002 making it one of the newest members of the national refuge system. Perhaps even more interesting is the great variety of fish that are found in the waters
of the Cahaba River. There are more species here than, believe it or not, any other river on the planet, a total of 131. This said, one can understand why there was great interest in preserving some portion of the river, in all a seven mile stretch, as the Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge. For human beings the Cahaba River Refuge offers wonderful opportunities to see incredible blooming wild plants in season and enjoy the opportunity to observe wildlife in a peaceful setting. Recreation opportunities include hiking, fishing and canoeing along quiet stretches of this beautiful southern river. Cahba River National Wildlife Refuge is also a great place to bring children to introduce them to the importance of protecting our wildlife, plantlife and the ecosystems they share. Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, Decatur, AL Established much earlier than Cahaba was the Wheller Nationla Wildlife Refuge in Decatur, Alabama. Designated as a refuge in 1938 is a large tract of some 34,000
acres that provides protection for a vast variety of fish, birds and other wildlife in a diversity of habitats.