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
Something to Tweet About
An adult painted redstart sighting was a new bird species record for the refuge and White Sands Missile Range in Doña Ana County. A Male.
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.
Our Most Recent Visitor
During the refuge's current bird banding season, a new visitor was seen for the first time. A male Nashville warbler. Another Record!
No Public Access, For Your Protection
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
For the Love of Those Sheep
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
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
Newest National Monument is in our View
The beautiful, "purple mountains majesty," Organ Mountains were
designated by presidential proclamation on May 21, 2014 as the newest National
Monument titled: Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument. The Organ
Mountains' range and this new National Monument are located just to the south
of the San Andres Mountain range and San Andres National Wildlife Refuge. The
Organ Mountains are one of the most majestic mountain ranges in the nation and
frequently display the breathtaking purple hues on the west side of the range
when the sun sets. The Monument is managed by the Bureau of Land Management -
Las Cruces District which is an Agency under the Department of the Interior as
is the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service.Presidential Proclamation
View some of our refuge
staff, refuge volunteers, and our staff's family member's photographs of the famous,
picturesque Organ Mountains.A Photo Gallery tribute to the new National Monument
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.
San Andres National Wildlife Refuge was recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy with a 2008 Federal Energy and Water Management Award. This honor was for efficient use of wind and water natural resources. The refuge is an area leader in the use of hybrid solar photovoltaic and wind energy systems.
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 All photos courtesy of USFWS unless otherwise noted., Refuge desert bighorn sheep in crevice and collared ewe with lamb / Christina Rodden, USDOD, Young bull elk, javelina trio, and mountain lion / Refuge remote cameras, USFWS, Black bear with blonde coat, male painted redstart songbird, and building remains / M. Weisenberger, USFWS, Nashville warbler male / J. Gahr, USFWS, Organ Mountains with snowcapped peaks / G. Powers, USFWS, Refuge office Wind Generator at sunrise / C. Bartram, USFWS
Last Updated: Jul 14, 2014