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Bull elk herd-Cervus elaphus/Leann Wilkins

The refuge is host or home to 14 reptile and nine amphibian species, 42 mammals, and 289 documented birds.

  • Mammals

    Thirteen lined ground squirrel-Ictidomys tridecemlineatus/Bennette Jenkins

    Resident mammals include mule deer, white-tailed deer, beaver, muskrat, badger, bobcat, coyote, striped skunk, raccoon, porcupine, long-tailed weasel, black-tailed prairie dog, black-tailed jackrabbit, desert cottontail, at least six species of bats, and a wide variety of rodents that are typical of the area grasslands.  Other mammals that have been documented on the refuge include pronghorn, elk, mountain lion, black bear, and ring-tail cat.  

  • Reptiles

    Prairie rattlesnake-Crotalis viridis/Bennette Jenkins

    Surveys on the refuge have documented 14 reptile species; including common lesser earless lizard, prairie lizard, pygmy short-horned lizard, common checkered whiptail, Great Plains skink, and snapping turtle.  When the weather turns warm a visitor might see one of eight identified snakes on the refuge; including cornsnake, plains hog-nosed snake, western coachwhip, bullsnake, plains gartersnake, terrestrial gartersnake, western diamond-backed rattlesnake, and the prairie rattlesnake.

  • Amphibians

    Tiger Salamander-Ambystoma tigrinum/Leann Wilkins

    The nine amphibians on the refuge include the tiger salamander, American bullfrog, northern leopard frog, boreal chorus frog, Great Plains toad, red-spotted toad, Woodhouse’s toad, western spadefoot, and the plains spadefoot.

  • Fish

    Visitor caught a large fish/Aaron Mize

    Lake 13 is stocked annually by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish with rainbow trout and channel catfish.  Yellow perch, black bullhead, green sunfish, bluegill, walleye, northern pike, and largemouth bass are all found in refuge lakes.  More elusive fish in the lakes are white sucker, plains killifish, and fathead Minnow.

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  • Invertebrates

    Bumble Bee-Bombus spp.-on a sunflower/Bennette Jenkins

    Common aquatic invertebrates on the refuge include damselflies and dragonflies, mosquitoes and midges, mayflies, diving beetles, water fleas, crayfish, snails and backswimmers.  Terrestrial invertebrates known to occur on the refuge include beetles, true bugs and kin, wasps and bees, grasshoppers, moths and butterflies, and spiders.

Page Photo Credits — Bull elk herd/Leann Wilkins, Thirteen lined ground squirrel/Bennette Jenkins, Prairie rattlesnake/Bennette Jenkins, Tiger salamander/Leann Wilkins, Visitor caught a large fish/Aaron Mize, Bumble bee on a sunflower/Bennette Jenkins, Grasshopper sparrow / © Robert Shantz, All photos courtesy of USFWS unless otherwise noted.
Last Updated: Jul 21, 2015
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