U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
Banner graphic displaying the Fish & Wildlife Service logo and National Wildlife Refuge System tagline

Bitter Lake
National Wildlife Refuge

4200 E. Pine Lodge Road
Roswell, NM   88201
E-mail: Floyd_Truetken@fws.gov
Phone Number: 575-622-6755
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
Gray horizontal line
  Wildlife and Habitat

Continued . . .

The Refuge lies within the Central Flyway and acts as a winter destination for thousands of migrating waterfowl. It also acts as a refueling spot for others continuing on their journey to more southern reaches.

Snow geese and sandhill cranes overwinter here. In summer interior least terns nest on refuge salt flats. Snowy plovers, killdeer, avocets, and black-necked stilts raise their chicks as well. Year round, look for roadrunners, coveys of scaled quail, and a variety of sparrows.

The flowing streams, rivers, sinkholes, playa lakes, and brackish waters of Bitter Lake each shelter their own communities of fish, snails, and plants. The refuge protects these fragile creatures from several outside theats that have devastated many other native fisheries.

Within the sinkholes and springs, tiny native fish thrive like the Pecos pupfish, greenthroat darter, and the endangered Pecos gambusia. You are not likely to see any of these fish outside of the Pecos River drainage.

You'll hear the yapping chorus of barking frogs as they nestle in limestone crevices or burrow in gypsum soils in June and July. These relics from millions of years ago, when the refuge was once a Permian shallow sea, are only found in three counties in New Mexico. They join the diversity of wildlife found at Bitter Lake NWR.

- Back -