Preventing Extinction


The masked bobwhite quail was extirpated from the United States in the early 1900s.

This highly endangered bird is now being bred in captivity on the refuge and released to the wild. A caring partnership of public and private interests is vital to restore the native grassland and the masked bobwhites that depend on it. Refuge biologists cooperate with ranchers and biologists in Mexico to restore the grasslands in Sonora where a few wild birds remain. Currently, the refuge is working with a zoo and educational facility named Africam Safari in Puebla Mexico. This additional captive breeding facility will further enhance opportunities for expansion of the species into suitable habitat.

Like the masked bobwhite, pronghorn disappeared from southern Arizona by the early 1900s. Relocations from Texas and northern Arizona created the small herd of pronghorns on the refuge.

Other threatened or endangered species include the southwestern willow flycatcher, Pima pineapple cactus, Chiricahua leopard frog, Gila topminnow, jaguar, lesser long-nosed bat and Kearney's bluestar.