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!
Snowfall On The Refuge For The New Year!
San Andres National Wildlife Refuge looks forward to hearing from you throughout this New Year! We continue to introduce the refuge through our public website and appreciate your suggestions. Thank you for supporting the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service in 2015! Contact Us at San Andres National Wildlife Refuge
Two Majestic Mountain Ranges!
The beautiful, "purple mountains majesty," Organ Mountains were
designated by presidential proclamation on May 21, 2014 as a 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
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
Presenting San Andres Nat'l Wildlife Refuge
Our 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
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
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.
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 ewes and young ram in crevice / 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, Desert mule deer doe in the snowfall / Refuge remote camera, USFWS, Organ Mountains with snowcapped peaks / G. Powers, USFWS, 28 hour old desert bighorn sheep lamb whose birth was observed by refuge staff / USFWS
Last Updated: Jan 26, 2015