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  • Young bull elk / Refuge remote camera, USFWS

    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!

  • Black bear photographed on the refuge (blonde coated) / M. Weisenberger, USFWS

    Most Startling!

    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 bear

  • Male painted redstart songbird / M. Weisenberger, USFWS

    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.

  • Javelina trio / Refuge remote camera, USFWS

    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.

  • Northern parula warbler female / J. Gahr, USFWS

    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!

Area Fall Outreach Events

Join Us at Bitter Lake NWR's Dragonfly Festival!

Dragonfly species on Agency emblem / © B. Beasley, USFWS

San Andres National Wildlife Refuge will be in Roswell, New Mexico September 12th for Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge's Dragonfly Festival! This annual Festival is a renowned event in our State! Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge hosts a variety of guided tours during the Festival. The tours include dragonfly, birding, and wildlife viewing opportunities. This year's Festival will be Saturday, September 12 with additional tours offered on Sunday, September 13, 2015. There will be a variety of family fun activities throughout the day on September 12, including: a Kid's Fishing Pool, Wildlife Exhibits, Arts and Crafts, a Photography Workshop, live Speakers and San Andres National Wildlife Refuge will be displaying a booth showcasing a photo array and interactive guessing games to introduce visitors to our remote Refuge. The Festival's Schedule of Events is linked below! All the Events are free and offered to the entire family, but reservations are required for the Tours. Call Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge at (575) 625-4011 to reserve your space for the guided tours. Look for our Refuge at this year's, 14th annual Dragonfly Festival!

2015 Dragonfly Festival Schedule

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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Introducing San Andres National Wildlife Refuge To You!

  • Meet Us at the Fair!

    Desert bighorn sheep ram head carved Jack-o-lantern / © K. Van Zandt

    San Andres National Wildlife Refuge will be at the Doña Ana Fairgrounds, west of Las Cruces, New Mexico for the Southern New Mexico State Fair. The dates of this fall's Fair are September 30 to October 4, 2015. Be sure and look for our U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Wildlife Refuges of New Mexico' mobile, educational trailer. The trailer offers hands-on activities for anyone! Kids, be sure and bring your family over to try various guessing games! We look forward to visiting with you at the Fair.

    See Us at Our Area County Fairs!
  • Bringing San Andres National Wildlife Refuge to You

    Desert bighorn sheep ewe with lamb / © Christina Rodden, DOD-WSMR

    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
  • Tales of Historic Legends

    Historic rock house on refuge / M. Weisenberger, USFWS

    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.

Page Photo Credits — Mature mountain lion close-up / refuge remote camera, Young bull elk, javelina trio, and mountain lion / Refuge remote cameras, USFWS, Black bear photographed on the refuge (blonde coated) / M. Weisenberger, USFWS, Black bear with blonde coat, male painted redstart songbird, and building remains / M. Weisenberger, USFWS, Nashville warbler male / J. Gahr, USFWS, Dragonfly species hitching a ride /  © B. Beasley, USFWS, Desert bighorn sheep ram head carved Jack-o-lantern / © K. Van Zandt, Desert bighorn sheep ewe with lamb / © C. Rodden, USDOD
Last Updated: Aug 24, 2015
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