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02/08/2014 10:22 AM EST

Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes National Wildlife Refuge was established to protect breeding habitat for the endangered California least tern and the threatened western snowy plover. The refuge also provides habitat for other endangered species, including the California tiger salamander, California red-legged frog, Morro blue butterfly, shoulder band dune snail, and 16 rare or endangered plant species. 

Photo: Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes NWR/ Ian Shive