There is a large variety of wildlife on the Refuge! From big to small!
The Crawfish frog is an Indiana State Endangered Species that inhabits the refuge. Population surveys of this species are conducted yearly. These include call surveys, pitfall traps, and morphometrics. Crawfish frogs are particularly picky about where to lay their eggs, therefore these habitats must be managed through tree removal, herbicide use, water management, and prescribed burns.
At the end of the 2022 breeding season, the estimated population size on Crawfish frogs on Big Oaks was ~300 frogs.
For 2022, the refuge attempted cage rearing the species with relative success. 2,366 frogs were counted.
Big Oaks NWR has partnered with one of the local colleges to collect data on the American Kestrel. Kestrel boxes were put up along the West perimeter at the end of March 2018. American Kestrel eggs were found in one of the boxes in 2018.
As of 2023, the boxes remain along the perimeter. However, the project was not considered successful due to lack of nesting activity.
Bird boxes were also placed on the Western and Southern perimeter. All boxes are being used, whether it be by prairie mice, birds, or sometimes both!