Skip Navigation


  • Pronghorn_218x116

    Sonoran Pronghorn

    The Sonoran pronghorn is the fastest land mammal in North America and can run at speeds up to 60 miles per hour.

    Sonoran Pronghorn

  • Rattlesnake_218x116

    Native Reptiles

    At least 21 types of snakes call the refuge home, including 6 rattlesnake species. They are an important part of the desert community.

  • SunsetCacti_218x116

    Exciting Night Life

    When the sun sets and the desert cools, a host of refuge animals stir, including ringtail cats, pocket mice and 11 species of bats.

  • HornedLizard_218x116

    Cryptic Critters

    Light-colored fur helps mammals reflect heat rather than soak it in. The scales of lizards serve the same purpose.

  • DesertTortoise_218x116

    Going Underground

    Many desert animals burrow, including tortoise. They burrow down (sometimes up to many feet) to avoid the summer heat and winter cold.


Protecting Fawns


Due to the success of recovery efforts, pronghorn numbers have increased to historic average numbers. To protect the young Sonoran pronghorn, much of the refuge had been closed since 2003 during fawning season but the closure is now suspended. However, the Barry M. Goldwater West Range remains closed during the fawning season of March 15 - July 15. This closure effects the entrance and exit at the Tacna exit south of I-8. Visitors on the Cabeza Prieta can use the Christmas Pass Road but must turn back when reaching the north boundary of the wildlife refuge.

During Fawning Season

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



Draft Sonoran Pronghorn Recovery Plan


UPDATE: The public comment period for the Draft Sonoran Pronghorn Recovery plan has been extended to September 4, 2015. A draft plan to help guide recovery efforts for the endangered Sonoran Pronghorn is now available for public review. The draft plan is a revision of the 1998 Sonoran Pronghorn Recovery Plan. Comments and information will be accepted until August 3, 2015. All relevant information from local, State, and Federal agencies; Tribes; and the public will be considered. To receive a copy of the draft Recovery Plan, please contact James Atkinson, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, 1611 N. Second Ave., Ajo, Arizona 85321; telephone (520) 387-6483, email, or download a copy of the plan from the Service's website at Comments may be submitted by one of the following methods: 1. Submit written comments and materials to James Atkinson at the above address; 2. Hand-deliver written comments to Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge at the above address or fax them to (520) 387-5359 or email them to Please include "Sonoran Draft Recovery Plan" in the subject line.
Page Photo Credits — All photos courtesy of USFWS unless otherwise noted., Lesser long-nosed bats / USFWS, Horned Lizard / Johnida Dockens ©, Pronghorn / Steve Hillebrand ©, Black-tailed Rattlesnake / Gary M Stoltz ©
Last Updated: Aug 24, 2015
Return to main navigation