Welcome to San Andres National Wildlife Refuge!
High elevation of San Andres Mountain
Not Open To The Public

Refuge Is Located Within Military Base-Restricting Access. No Public Access Available.

San Andres National Wildlife Refuge has restricted access onto the refuge, for safety and security concerns. The refuge is completely surrounded by and accessed through the 2.2 million acre Department of Defense, Department of the Army, White Sands Missile Range; which is the largest military installation in the United States.

We welcome you to the refuge office, located at 5686 Santa Gertrudis Dr., Las Cruces, New Mexico 88012. Please phone ahead of time to ensure that a refuge staff member is present to assist you. (575-382-5047)

Location and Contact Information

      About Us

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      San Andres National Wildlife Refuge is part of the largest continuous and relatively undisturbed portion of the Chihuahuan Desert in the United States. Established in 1941 to conserve desert bighorn sheep, the refuge occupies 57,215 acres in the southern end of the San Andres Mountains in south-central New Mexico. Its steep terrain and isolated springs provide unique habitat for a variety of wildlife. The refuge serves as a natural laboratory for a variety of research and management projects. 

      What We Do

      The National Wildlife Refuge System is a series of lands and waters owned and managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Wildlife conservation is at the heart of the refuge system. It drives everything we do from the purpose a refuge is established, to the recreational activities offered there, to the resource management tools we use. Selecting the right tools helps us ensure the survival of the nation’s wildlife resources and conserving the natural resources for the benefit of present and future generations. 

      Our Species

      The refuge is home to a herd of desert bighorn sheep.  Mule deer, black bears, mountain lions, bobcats, gray fox, javelina, and a variety of migratory birds are among the most common species on the Refuge.   

      Nelson's bighorn sheep
      Nelson bighorn sheep
      Peninsular bighorn sheep
      desert bighorn sheep
      A medium-size bovid. Muscular body, with thick neck. Color varies from dark brown above in northern mountains to pale tan in desert; belly, rump patch, back of legs, muzzle, and eye patch are white. Short, dark brown tail. Coat sheds in patches June - July. Ram has massive brown horns that curve up...
      FWS Focus

      Get Involved

      San Andres National Wildlife Refuge has regular opportunities for youth conservation corps members. Other volunteer opportunities are limited and irregular; contact the Refuge Manager at 575-382-5047 to find out about any current opportunities.