At least 21 types of snakes call the refuge home, including 6 rattlesnake species. They are an important part of the desert community.
Exciting Night Life
When the sun sets and the desert cools, a host of refuge animals stir, including ringtail cats, pocket mice and 11 species of bats.
Light-colored fur helps mammals reflect heat rather than soak it in. The scales of lizards serve the same purpose.
Many desert animals burrow, including tortoise. They burrow down (sometimes up to many feet) to avoid the summer heat and winter cold.
Due to the success of recovery efforts, pronghorn numbers have increased to historic average numbers.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has received a request for a commercial filming permit to document Customs and Border Protection BORTAC operations on the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge. Please click the link below to review the Compatibility Determination for this action. Commercial Filming Compatibility Determination
About the NWRS
The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America’s fish, wildlife, and plants.
Learn more about the NWRS
The Refuge proposes to construct vehicle barriers via the placement of small to moderate local boulders to exclude vehicle from accidently driving or parking on existing cultural resources at and near the Charlie Bell Well. The well is located in a highly traveled corridor used by cross border violators (CBV) - comprised mostly of narcotics smugglers. Consequently, the U.S. Border Patrol frequently patrols this area in search of CBVs and to perform search and rescue operations. Refuge staff also access the site. The barrier will be placed to maximize protection of cultural resources.Environmental Action Statement
Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge is proposing to using herbicides to treat Sahara Mustard in the non-wilderness corridor of the El Camino del Diablo. Please see the attached Environmental Action Statement for a description of the proposed action, treatment areas, and how to comment. EAS and NEPA Checklist for herbicide treatment
The Service is proposing to replace existing outdated and unreadable mileage signs along the El Camino del Diablo with new metal signs which meet Service sign requirements. Please see the attached Environmental Action Statement and NEPA checklist for a full description of the proposed action. EAS mileage signs
Feeding on the saguaro’s nectar and fruit, the endangered lesser long-nosed bat helps pollinate and spread the saguaro seed. The bats are able to reach deep into the cactus’ blossoms using their elongated, narrow snouts. Their hairy heads get covered with the pollen and as the bats fly from cactus to cactus, they transfer pollen to other saguaro blossoms – pollination occurs! For this and other reasons, lesser long-nosed bats play an extremely important role in maintaining healthy deserts.
Page Photo Credits All photos courtesy of USFWS unless otherwise noted., Lesser long-nosed bats / USFWS, Horned Lizard / Johnida Dockens ©, Pronghorn / Steve Hillebrand ©, Black-tailed Rattlesnake / Gary M Stoltz ©
Last Updated: Feb 17, 2017