The roots of the current National Wildlife Refuge System were formed in 1903 by Theodore Roosevelt, who wanted to keep our most important habitats 'forever wild'. Devoted primarily to protecting wildlife, wetlands, and open spaces, refuges offer unrivaled opportunities for visitors to observe and learn about our natural world.There are now more than 500 refuge areas in the United States, comprising more than 90 million acres. Habitats protected by refuges include virgin forests, tidal marshes, prairies, deserts, and tundra; species that flourish on refuges include the bald eagle, the peregrine falcon, the American alligator, the American bison, mountain lions, bats, beavers, bears, sea turtles, and hundreds of others, including more than 60 endangered species.With more than 19 million copies sold to date and more than 105 titles now in print, the National Audubon Society's book program includes the National Audubon Society Field Guides (Knopf) and National Audubon Society First Field Guides (Scholastic). The mission of the Society is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds and other wildlife, for the benefit of humanity and the earth's biological diversity. The National Wildlife Refuges are managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.