About the Refuge

Monitoring fish populations/W. Radke

The primary role of the San Bernardino National Wildlife Refuge is the recovery of the native fish in the Río Yaqui watershed.


The 2,369-acre refuge is along the international border with Mexico in southeast Arizona's Cochise County.  It was established in 1982 to protect what remained of the unique wetlands of the San Bernardino ciénega, a wetland that was historically considered the largest, most extensive in the region.  This large marsh serves as a migratory corridor for wildlife between the mountain ranges of Mexico to the Rocky Mountains of Arizona and New Mexico.