U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
Banner graphic displaying the Fish & Wildlife Service logo and National Wildlife Refuge System tagline

Desert
National Wildlife Range


16001 Corn Creek Rd
Las Vegas, NV   89124 - 8402
E-mail:
Phone Number: 702-879-6110
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
http://www.fws.gov/refuge/desert/
Gray horizontal line
  Wildlife Observation and Photography
Continued . . .

Over 320 bird species have been identified. Birds commonly seen in the hot, dry lower desert include the black-throated sparrow, Le Conte's thrasher, sage sparrow, loggerhead shrike, cactus wren, and the greater roadrunner. In the higher pinyon-juniper woodlands, bushtit, spotted towhee, broad-tailed hummingbird, and pinyon jay are common. The higher pine forests are home to the olive-sided flycatcher, Clark's nutcracker, white-breasted nuthatch, and red-naped sapsucker.

The Desert Range is home to 52 species of mammals. Coyote, bobcat, gray fox, and mule deer are found inn many life zones. Species found in the higher pine forests include Colorado chipmunk, spotted skunk, long-legged myotis bat, and porcupine. In the brushy areas of the middle elevations, various species of bats, along with cottontail rabbits, ground squirrels, and coyotes are commonly found. The less commonly seen mountain lion grows from 5-9' long, including the tail. The favorite prey of these big cats is the mule deer. The lower desert communities provide habitat for the kit fox and their favorite prey, the kangaroo rat. Also found in this harsh community are the California myotis, whitetail antelope, and blacktail jackrabbit.

Among the 35 reptiles found include the chuckwalla, horned lizard, Mojave rattlesnake, western king snake, banded gecko, collared lizard, and federally protected desert tortoise. These tortoises spend most of their lives in underground burrows that may be up to 30' long. Tortoises can live 75-100 years and grow up to 15" long. The colorful collared lizards hunt grasshoppers, cicadas, moths, wasps and small lizards, seizing their prey with a quick rush, often running on their back legs when moving at high speeds.

Vehicles (including bicycles, ATVs, and motorcycles) are permitted only on designated roads. All roads are primitive and may be impassable for passenger cars. Make sure you start with a full fuel tank. Cellular phone coverage is limited. Be sure your vehicle is in good working condition and adequately supplied for emergencies.

Summer temperatures may reach 117F at lower elevations. No water is available on the Desert Range, so bring plenty of water. A person needs at least one gallon of water per day under these conditions. Drink plenty of water--don't ration it!

The western half of the range is used by the U.S. Air Force's Nellis Test and Training Range as a bombing, gunnery, and aerial warfare training facility. There may be unexploded, live ordinance in this area. This area is closed to all public access.

The rest of the refuge is open year round to camping, backpacking, hiking, and horseback riding, and is best appreciated on foot or horseback. The deserts of the Mojave are known for their displays of spring and summer wildflowers that are spectacular in years of abundant rainfall.

Camping within 1/4 mile of water developments or springs in prohibited. Camping is limited to 14 consecutive days. Campfires are permitted, but you must bring your own wood, and a firepan is recommended. There are no litter barrels on the range. Please carry out everything you carry in. Most summer precipitation occurs from occasional thunderstorms which, in a matter of minutes, can often cause flash flooding. Never camp or park your vehicle in a dry wash or stream bed.

Water is scarce and critical to wildlife, so horseback riders must carry feed and water for their stock. In order to protect native plants, it is highly recommended that only certified weed-free feed be brought onto the range.

There are two small picnic areas, with tables and grills but no water, at Corn Creek Field Station and Mormon Well Pass. Picnicking is permitted along designated roads. Please carry out everything you bring in.


Learn More>>

 
 
- Back -