Imperial National Wildlife Refuge offers free educational opportunities.
Which of these free educational opportunities fits the needs of your students?Self–guided Field Trip: Painted Desert Trail HikeEducators – Bring you students for a self-guided walk on the 1.3 mile nature trail that winds through the desert. Students will learn about the Sonoran Desert, animal and plant adaptations, and geologic history.Visitor CenterThe visitor center has a variety of interactive exhibits about the Sonoran desert, Colorado River, and refuge management. Students will learn about desert wildlife like bighorn sheep and some of the refuge’s endangered species, including the Yuma clapper rail and southwestern willow flycatcher. Visit the observation tower for an opportunity to see migratory birds making use of the nearby habitat, refuge-managed marsh units and native cottonwood and willow communities along the Colorado River.
The Yuma clapper rail has very specific needs, including marsh habitat where they
can nest and forage on small fish, insects and crayfish. This type of habitat has disappeared from much of the lower Colorado River but is still found on Imperial National Wildlife Refuge. The long-legged bird with a short tail
will give a loud distinctive call that sounds like hands clapping rapidly,
hence its name. Through monitoring and restoration efforts, the refuge is
actively working to protect and enhance habitat for this unique and highly