Featured Species

Plants and animals that all interact with each other are part of an ecological community. Some plants and animals you might find during your visit to Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge include:  

American kestrel  

American kestrels are known to be small and mighty. That is why we chose one as our unofficial mascot. They keep the refuge healthy because they eat insects and small rodents who may eat restored plants.  


Dragonflies live in the water as larvae. They fly and live on land when they are adults but still live near water. They eat mosquitoes both as larvae and adults.  


Coyotes eat animals and some plants. They protect the community from being overrun by keeping smaller wildlife in check. They also spread plant seeds in their droppings.  

Big brown bat  

Big brown bats come out at night and eat insects like mosquitoes and other pests. They keep crops and other plants safe.  

Coyote willow  

Coyote willows stabilize wetland banks and offer shelter and food for many animals.  

Rio Grande cottonwood 

Rio Grande cottonwood trees provide shelter for other animals. Porcupines and screech owls sleep in cottonwood trees during the day.  


Lambsquarters belong to the Goosefoot family. There are both native and non-native species of these plants. Many are edible and come can be found in wetlands.  

Yerba mansa  

Yerba Mansa (known as Yerba del Manso locally) is a wetland plant that produces beautiful white flowers. People have use it as a medicinal plant for generations.