U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
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Las Vegas
National Wildlife Refuge


This photo montage is comprised of images of a scenic vista, a rock  home ruin on the Gallinas Nature Trail, a visitor birdwatching, and a yellow-headed blackbird.
Route 1 Box 399
Las Vegas, NM   87701
E-mail:
Phone Number: 505-425-3581
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
http://www.fws.gov/refuge/las_vegas/
Common scenes at Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge.
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  Overview
Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge
With the Rocky Mountains to the west, the Great Plains to the east, and the Chihuahuan Desert to the south, Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge encompasses a diversity of habitats. Located along the Central Flyway, the Refuge provides an important resting, feeding, and wintering area for migrating geese, ducks, and cranes.

Las Vegas NWR rests on a plateau in the foothills with the Rocky Mountains just beyond. River canyon walls drop below the refuge on three sides. Las Vegas (Spanish for "the meadows") preserves both wildlife habitats and a slice of New Mexico's rich cultural history.


Getting There . . .
The Refuge is 6 miles southeast of the city of Las Vegas, New Mexico. Refuge Headquarters can be reached from I-25 at exit 345; then east on State Highway 104 for 1.5 miles, then south on State Highway 281 for about 4 miles.


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Wildlife and Habitat

Wherever ecosystems intercept, you're bound to find more kinds of wildlife than in either ecosystem separately. Las Vegas NWR harbors animals, birds and plants of both mountains and plains, and those that thrive in both.

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History
Old world Indians inhabited the fertile valley of Las Vegas as early as 8,000 B.C. Pueblo Indians lived here during the 1100s until eventually forced out by drought and Apaches.

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    Recreation and Education Opportunities
Fishing
Hunting
Interpretation
Photography
Wildlife Observation
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Management Activities
National wildlife refuges like Las Vegas appear as islands in an ocean of developed lands, especially for birds that migrate thousands of miles north and south. Where once wildlife could range freely for food and shelter, today their choices are limited.

That's why refuges often actively manage lands to make sure food, water, and shelter will be as productive as possible. Here, you'll see wheat, barley, corn, and peas planted for wildlife to harvest and hide among the stalks. The refuge lowers and raises water levels in the ponds to provide the best mix of feeding, nesting, and rearing habitats for waterfowl. Finally, don't be surprised if you notice some cattle on the grasslands between May and October. Careful grazing is rejuvenating native grasslands.