Established in 1974, Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge is one of nine refuges managed by the Caribbean Islands National Wildlife Refuge Complex. The Caribbean islands make up one of the most diverse ecosystems within the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. These ecosystems provide numerous opportunities to protect and restore tropical forests , neotropical migratory bird wintering grounds and habitat for more than 78 threatened or endangered species. To date, 245 plant species and 145 bird species have been identified at Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge.
Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge aims to restore and enhance native wildlife and plants, and to increase the level of environmental awareness among residents and visitors.
Once the home of the Foreign Broadcast Information Service, the gently rolling hills of the refuge lie within a sub-tropical dry forest belt. Because of decades of over-grazing, much of the native vegetation has been replaced by plants from other regions. The refuge grew to its current 1,836 acres in 1999 with the addition of 1,249 acres from the Cabo Rojo Salt Flats. The salt flats are managed under a special-use permit with a private operator who continues to manage water levels as part of a commercial salt-harvesting operation. Water levels on the salt flats are also managed with the needs of shorebirds in mind. This area is considered the most important stop over for migratory birds and shorebirds in the Eastern Caribbean. The migratory birds use the refuge during the cooler months. Resident species are present year-round.
Other Facilities in this Complex
Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge is one of many refuges that make up the Caribbean Islands National Wildlife Refuge Complex. Each refuge in the complex plays vital role to conserving our unique, endemic species and resources in the Caribbean.