About Us

The 230,000-acre refuge includes four different biomes that intersect and support a wide array of biological diversity. The Rio Grande flows through the center of the refuge, and serves as an important source of water that creates an oasis for wildlife in the arid landscape. = The refuge is unique in that it was set aside “to preserve and enhance the integrity and the natural character of the ecosystems of the property by creating a wildlife refuge managed as nearly as possible in its natural state.”  The refuge is not managed for specific wildlife species, but instead focuses on letting natural processes such as flood and fire to prevail. 

Like intersecting highways, four major biomes unite at Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge. Piñon–Juniper Woodlands intersect with the Colorado Plateau Shrub–Steppe lands. The Chihuahuan Desert meets the Great Plains Grasslands. In select places, all four converge. To add to the stunning diversity, the largest river in New Mexico, the Rio Grande, bisects the immense landscape of the refuge, a lifeline for migrating birds and corridor for wildlife.  

An array of amazing plants and wildlife that have evolved with the different ecosystems are found here. Scientists from across the country and internationally come here to conduct research in these amazing ecosystems 

Our Mission

The mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System is to administer a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management and, where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans. 

Our Purpose

Every national wildlife refuge national wildlife refuge
A national wildlife refuge is typically a contiguous area of land and water managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  for the conservation and, where appropriate, restoration of fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

Learn more about national wildlife refuge
was created for a special purpose. Some were created to protect migratory birds, others to protect threatened or endangered species or unique habitats, while others fulfill another special purpose. Refuges are special places where wildlife comes first. All activities allowed on refuges must be evaluated to make sure each activity will not conflict with the reason the refuge was founded.

Our History

The land known today as Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge was at one time the Sevilleta de la Joya, a Spanish land grant. The land was purchased in 1936 by the Campbell family, ranchers who held the property for 30 years. Wanting to protect the natural resources of the ranch, the Campbell Family Foundation donated the property to The Nature Conservancy in 1973, who in turn donated it to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. On December 28, 1973 Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge was established.