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  • Refuge water manager, Brian Greeves in a refuge cornfield / USFWS

    400 Years Later, Crops Come Full Circle

    By 2016, the use of all genetically modified crops (GMO’s) will be banned from national wildlife refuges. Our refuge has already done this!

  • Refuge water manager, Brian Greeves with bowl of corn kernals / USFWS

    Sharing Their Surplus of Corn

    In 1598, Spanish Conquistador Don Juan de Oñate's expedition purchased maize (corn) from the Piro pueblos colonized by Bosque del Apache.

  • Refuge water manager, Brian Greeves in a refuge cornfield / USFWS

    Growing 300 Acres of Corn Annually

    From the time Oñate encountered the Piro pueblos to today, the Middle Rio Grande Valley has been an important waterfowl migratory corridor.

    To Learn More, Read On . . .

  • 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

Enjoy Our Seasonal Activities

Canyon Hikes to Begin!

Javelina family

Join us Saturday mornings throughout September and October for a free, two mile, round-trip canyon hike on Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. Beginning at 8:15 am, you will explore a desert canyon and watch for wildlife on this refuge guided tour. For details, see the linked poster. Reservations are suggested and can be made by calling (575) 835-1828 and Zero to reach an operator.

Saturday Morning Canyon Hike Poster

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  

Follow NWRS Online


Free, Family Fun, Spectacular Event!

  • 2014 Festival of the Cranes

    2014 Festival of the Cranes design November 18, 2014

    Make plans to attend the 27th Annual Festival of the Cranes, November 18-23, 2014 at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. A variety of workshops, guided tours, guest speakers, wildlife handlers, exhibitors, and activities for the entire family will be offered each day of the Festival. This year's events' schedule can be viewed in the link below. Registration begins September 2 and 3. Don't miss out on this unique festival celebration! For more information, view Friends of the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge website in the link below.

    Annual Crane Festival, November 18-23, 2014
  • Band Number: 599-05468

    Solo crane

    This band was worn for 36 and a half years by a Rocky Mountain sandhill crane (RMSH). It is one of the oldest RMSHs known and the band it wore had limited wear for all that time in the wild. The bird was banded with its brood mate (a two-chick brood) on 29 June 1973, one mile north of Border, Wyoming on the Thomas Fork of the Bear River.

    Frequent Flyer Miles
  • Did You Know?

    A fossil of a crane was found in Nebraska that is estimated to be nearly 10 million years old. This makes cranes one of the oldest known species of birds in existence today.

Page Photo Credits — Cranes in flight over vibrant sky, Refuge water manager, Brian Greeves in a refuge corn field / USFWS, Sunset on the water with cranes / Ryan Hagerty ©, Male Calliope hummingbird / © Gary Froehlich, Javelina family / refuge remote camera, USFWS, American coot / USFWS, Close-up of crane's face, All photos courtesy of USFWS unless otherwise noted.
Last Updated: Aug 26, 2014
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