Refuge remote camera viewing coyote on the Refuge. Property of USFWS.
Pinyon-juniper habitat. Photo Credit: K. Cobble, USFWS
About San Andres National Wildlife Refuge
President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 8646 creating the San Andres National Wildlife Refuge on January 22, 1941 for the conservation and development of natural wildlife resources. The Refuge provides the best habitat for desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis mexicana) in New Mexico.
The Refuge is located within the southern portion of the 80 mile long San Andres Mountain range. Refuge boundaries are approximately 21 miles in length and 6 miles wide. Elevations range from 4,200 feet in the valleys, up to 8,239 feet at San Andres Peak. Terrain is comprised of steep, rugged mountains and deep canyons.
Rainfall occurs during winter storms that move in from the Pacific coast and from summer thunderstorms. Average annual rainfall on the Refuge is about 13 inches. Refuge habitats range from Chihuahuan desert in the lower elevations
to pinyon-juniper woodlands at higher elevations.
With the exception of occasional special guided tours for education or research groups, San Andres National Wildlife Refuge is closed to the public for safety and security concerns. The Refuge is completely surrounded by the 2.2 million acre White Sands Missile Range, which is the largest military installation in the United States. Since public access is limited on San Andres National Wildlife Refuge, this web site is dedicated to bring the beauty and wonder of the Refuge to you.
San Andres National Wildlife Refuge was the 184th Refuge established in the nation. Presently, there are 553 National Wildlife Refuges in the continental United States. The most recent refuge
in the system is Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge located in northeastern Pennsylvania.
Desert bighorn ewe-Ovis canadensis mex. Photo Credit: K. Cobble,USFWS