Thriving on the Refuge
From a low of 17
individual cranes on the refuge in 1940, the wintering population of sandhills
is up to 17,000.
Rocky Mountain Sandhill Crane
Bosque del Apache Refuge
includes three designated wilderness areas: Chupadera Peak, Indian Wells &
Little San Pasqual Wilderness Area.
Get a Closer Look!
Get up close and personal
with some of the refuge's wild residents and the habitat they depend
The color of black bears varies with
most eastern bears' fur dark black but in the west they might be brown,
cinnamon, or blond.
Bronze Medal Winner!
Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge won 3rd Place in the latest 10Best Readers' Choice travel award contest! The refuge was one of 20 contenders for the Best Birdwatching category presented by USA TODAY. Visit the refuge today and see why we placed in one of the top three locations nationwide! Best Birdwatching Locations in the Nation
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
Planting for the Future
Or GMO's for short . . . Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge abandoned the use of GMO’s years ago and has remained committed to using only non-GMO varieties. Refuge water manager, Brian Greeves partnered with Native Seeds, a Tuscon Arizona based non-profit organization, to test seven varieties of heirloom corn seeds and learned that many varieties of heirloom seeds grew in the southwest, are naturally hardier, drought tolerant, and because of a tighter husk are naturally more resistant to damage from pests. Bosque del Apache annually grows 300 acres of corn for sandhill cranes. In doing this, the refuge maximizes the benefit of this small parcel of land in an altered and changing modern landscape. If the heirloom corn proves to be nutritionally sufficient and the cranes will forage on it, the refuge hopes to produce all 300 acres of corn with heirloom seeds. Read the Full History Here
Sandhill cranes move among
several areas throughout the day to feed, rest, and socialize. Social behavior
includes at least ten different types of calls, various threatening postures,
and elaborate dances for everything from joy to courtship.
Page Photo Credits Cranes in flight over vibrant sky, Sunset on the water with cranes / © Ryan Hagerty, Refuge canyon view / USFWS, American black bear / USFWS, Waterfowl in flight / © Denise Ippolito, Refuge water manager in corn field with a bowl of corn kernels / USFWS, Close-up of crane's face, All photos courtesy of USFWS unless otherwise noted.
Last Updated: Jan 26, 2015