Shutdown Notice
Due to the lapse in federal appropriations, this website will not be updated until further notice. Where public access to refuge lands does not require the presence of a federal employee or contractor, activities on refuge lands will be allowed to continue on the same terms as before the appropriations lapse. Any entry onto Refuge System property during this period of federal government shutdown is at the visitor's sole risk. Please read this important updated message about the closure of National Wildlife Refuge System facilities during the shutdown, and refer to alerts posted on individual refuge websites for the status of visitor facilities and previously scheduled events that may still occur during the shutdown.

For more information, please visit the Department of Interior webpage at


  • American Avocet

    American Avocet

    Shorebird numbers such as those of the avocet, peak during spring migration

  • Yellow-footed Gull

    Yellow-footed Gull

    The Salton Sea is the only area in the U.S. to see the Yellow-footed Gull.

  • Clapper Rail Nest

    Yuma Clapper Rail

    Often heard but rarely seen, the Yuma Clapper Rail nests on the refuge.

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Plan a Field Trip

Environmental Education

We offer guided tours and activities. Contact us at 1-760-348-5278 to learn more.

Notable Bird Sightings

Recently Seen Birds: Brant, Least Tern, & Red Knot

Birding Locations

Find birding locations and a map on Southwest Birders!

Learn More

Salton Sea Discovery Kids Camp

Salton Sea State Rec Area

Learning Science in a Fun & Exciting Way!

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Comprehensive Conservation Plan

Comprehensive Conservation Plan

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is pleased to announce the availability of the Draft Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) Complex Comprehensive Plan and Environmental Assessment (EA) for public review and comment.

Learn More about the Comprehensive Conservation Plan

About the Complex

Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge Complex

Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge is managed as part of the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

Read more about the complex
About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS