Our Diamond Anniversary
San Andres National Wildlife Refuge is celebrating its 75th Anniversary throughout 2016! The refuge was established January 22, 1941!
Our 75th Anniversary logo image - enlarged
Sharing Our Firsts With You
With our refuge closed to the public, we're highlighting animals seen for the first time on the
refuge since its
establishment in 1941!
A few years ago, the first documented and photographed black bear was sighted on the refuge! A few more are seen today. Blonde coat color.
North American black
Having a "Rootin" Good Time!
Javelina, or collared
peccary, are regularly seen on the refuge now! Their rooting behavior digs up cactus and plants to feed upon.
During the refuge's seasonal bird banding, a new visitor was seen for the first time. A male Nashville warbler. A New County Record!
Highlighting For You!
Our public website
strives to bring the scenic beauty of San Andres National Wildlife Refuge to
you. The refuge is not open to the public due to its location and for
security and safety protocols. Minimal access on the refuge preserves its
pristine habitat which provides an invaluable natural laboratory for
scientific and research studies. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have over
125 National Wildlife Refuges that are regularly closed to the public
due to their location, for the protection of key species, and for public
safety. San Andres National Wildlife Refuge's lands and native species will
continue to be preserved to their historic state for generations to
come.No Public Access
The refuge will be
developing its own Facebook page soon so that you can see continually current
photos of refuge wildlife from our refuge remote cameras. Be sure and check
back for the launch date of the site!
View our Historical Photo Gallery in the link below. Throughout this calendar year, we will add various features on our website to Celebrate our 75th Anniversary. A few of these additions will be: audio files from decades past, early refuge employees, continuing black and white photographs, and written summaries of what the refuge is doing now. Check back regularly on our website to see the updated information. Historic refuge photographs
About the NWRS
The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America’s fish, wildlife, and plants.
Learn more about the NWRS
Rough and Rugged
San Andres National Wildlife Refuge began its 75th Anniversary, January 22, 2016! CONGRATULATIONS to this remarkable refuge that has remained virtually undisturbed since its establishment in 1941!
San Andres National Wildlife Refuge's second Refuge Manager, Cecil Kennedy, was a real cowboy. He served as the refuge's Manager for 23 years before his retirement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He was one of the last refuge managers to conduct wildlife surveys on foot and horseback. A quote, from one of Kennedy's fellow refuge employees, Tom Emanuel, describes Kennedy as “looking like John Wayne.” "He was daring on horseback. He would do things others would consider risky, to cover the area. He was very good at what he did.” Tom Emanuel also remembers how "Kennedy loved those sheep." (This referred to a native, remnant herd of desert bighorn sheep. It was for the preservation and protection of this historic herd that initiated the establishment of San Andres National Wildlife Refuge.) Kennedy conducted ground surveys on the refuge to make sure every desert bighorn lamb was counted. The photo above is of a 28 hour old desert bighorn sheep lamb whose birth was observed by refuge staff. A Look Back . . . Cecil Kennedy
The refuge’s namesake, the San Andres Mountains, was named in honor of Saint Andrew the Apostle by early Spanish settlers at the tiny village of Las Padillas. The history of the San Andres Mountains is rich with legends of lost gold mines and outlaws. The area was occupied as early as 900 A.D. by Native Americans. Remnants of rock houses and mines throughout the range are evidence of heavy mining activity in the area during the late 1800's and early 1900's. The mountains are reported to have been the stomping grounds of Black Jack Ketchem and the Apache Chief Geronimo. Apache Chief Victorio also frequented the San Andres Mountains with his warriors, and fought several skirmishes with the United States Cavalry. One legend tale is that a rock house in the area was at one time used by the outlaw William Bonney, alias Billy the Kid.
lone, resilient desert bighorn sheep ewe is all that remained from her
native herd in the San Andres Mountain range in south central New Mexico.
The female wandered alone for years. The herd she grew up with had
vanished. But in 1999, six transplanted desert bighorn sheep rams were
released onto San Andres National Wildlife Refuge and a
remarkable recovery began. Follow the link below to . .
Page Photo Credits Refuge desert bighorn sheep ewes and young ram in crevice / © C. Rodden, USDOD, Young bull elk, javelina trio, and mountain lion / Refuge remote cameras, USFWS, Black bear photographed on the refuge (blonde coated) / M. Weisenberger, USFWS, Javelina trio / Refuge remote camera, USFWS, Nashville warbler male / J. Gahr, USFWS, San Andres 75th Anniversary logo / © Kim Van Zandt, Mountain lion / Refuge remote camera, USFWS, 28 hour old desert bighorn sheep lamb whose birth was observed by refuge staff / USFWS, Historic rock house on refuge / M. Weisenberger, USFWS, Desert bighorn sheep ewe with lamb / © C. Rodden, USDOD
Last Updated: Feb 04, 2016