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  • Sunset on the water with cranes / Ryan Hagerty ©

    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

  • Yucca view

    Wilderness Areas

    Bosque del Apache Refuge includes three designated wilderness areas: Chupadera Peak, Indian Wells & Little San Pasqual Wilderness Area.

    Designated by Congress

  • Coyote pup / Greg-Wright ©

    Get a Closer Look!

    Get up close and personal with some of the refuge's wild residents and the habitat they depend upon.

    Multimedia Gallery

  • American black bear / USFWS

    Fun Fact

    The color of black bears varies with most eastern bears' fur dark black but in the west they might be brown, cinnamon, or blond.

Visit Bosque del Apache Refuge Today!

Thank You For Your Vote!

Waterfowl in flight / © Denise Ippolito

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!

National Wildlife Refuge's voted high for Best Birdwatching

About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


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  

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Planting for the Future!

Genetically Modified Crops

 Refuge water manager in corn field with a bowl of corn kernels / USFWS

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
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: Feb 24, 2015
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