National wildlife refuges offer us all a chance to unplug from the stresses of daily life and reconnect with our natural surroundings. Many visitors are drawn to the refuge by the colorful and sometimes rare bird species seen here. The many wetlands provide fresh water for a diversity of wildlife found in the otherwise arid Chihuahuan Desert.
Location and Contact Information
The 2,369-acre refuge lies 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.
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 local plants and animals and helps fulfill the purpose of the refuge.
San Bernardino National Wildlife Refuge offers an oasis within the surrounding Chihuahuan Desert, providing resting, breeding, and year-round habitat for an amazing diversity of wildlife.