National Wildlife Refuge
Socorro, NM 87801
Phone Number: 505-864-4021
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|Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge.|
Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge
Located in the heart of New Mexico, 50 miles south of Albuquerque, Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is comprised of nearly 230,000 acres of diverse habitat. Established in 1973, Sevilleta NWR is a vast landscape that supports Chihuahua desert, Great-plains short grass prairie, Colorado shrub steppe and Pinon juniper woodlands. The largest river in the state, the Rio Grande, bisects New Mexico’s largest National Wildlife Refuge. Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge is truly unique and varied as the plant communities and wildlife it supports.
Getting There . . .
The Refuge headquarters is located off of Interstate 25, exit 169, approximately 50 miles south of Albuquerque.
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Management activities include removing exotic plant species, replanting native vegetation and constructing man-made impoundments and water control structures in order to restore native wetlands to their natural state. Salt cedar, an exotic plant introduced for erosion control, has invaded riparian areas of the Refuge. Currently, salt cedar is being cleared and these areas are being planted with cottonwood, coyote willow and black willow. Water manipulation is another important management tool at Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge. Wetlands are flooded for short periods to irrigate vegetation and provide food for migratory waterfowl as they arrive in the fall. Fire management is also an important tool. Controlled burns allow Service staff to rejuvenate the vegetation and control some exotic plant species.
Mexican Grey Wolf Reintroduction Program
In 1995, Sevilleta NWR was selected to play a critical part in the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program. The main objective of this facility is to foster wild behavior in captive wolves by isolating them from contact with humans. Sevilleta NWR was chosen for its remote location, large size and relative inaccessibility. Wolves from this facility are eventually released to the wild in eastern Arizona and western New Mexico.
Sevilleta NWR is host to the University of New Mexico's Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) program initiated in 1988. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the program focuses on examining the ecological and biotic responses to seasonal, annual, and long-term climate changes. Scientists, researchers and students from around the globe vie to be awarded valuable research time at Sevilleta NWR with the LTER. Also, several research projects outside the LTER are usually underway on the Refuge.