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National Wildlife Refuge

The bright pink blossoms of a cholla catus bring a vibrancy to the
P.O. Box 549
Muleshoe, TX   79347
E-mail: fw2_rw_muleshoe@fws.gov
Phone Number: 806-946-3341
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Cholla in bloom. FWS photograph
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Grulla National Wildlife Refuge
Grulla National Wildlfie Refuge is located in Roosevelt County, New Mexico, near the small town of Arch, approximately 25 miles northwest of Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge. This 3,236-acre refuge is managed by the staff at Muleshoe NWR. More than 2,000 acres of the refuge is the saline lake bed of Salt Lake. When the lake holds sufficient water, Grulla NWR is a beneficial wintering area for lesser sandhill cranes. Ring-necked pheasant, scaled quail, and lesser prairie chicken are often seen on or near the refuge.

Getting There . . .
Directions from Muleshoe, Texas: Drive south on Highway 214 for 13 miles to Needmore, then follow FM 298 northwest approximately 15 miles to the New Mexico state line. Turn left onto the 1/2 mile long entrance road, which ends at a small parking area.

Directions from Portales, New Mexico: Drive approximately 25 miles southeast on Highway 88 to the Texas state line, then turn right onto the refuge entrance road.

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Wildlife and Habitat

The refuge is comprised of 2,330 acres of a saline lake bed and 906 acres of grassland. During periods of suffient rainfall, the lake holds water. This allows migrating waterfowl to use the area as well as lesser sand hill cranes.

Shorebirds like the American avocet and Baird's sandpipers can sometimes be seen on Salt Lake in the fall.

Turkey vultures, norther harriers, American kestrels, Swainson's hawks, ferruginous hawks, red-tailed hawks, and golden eagles can occasionally be seen on the refuge.

Other resident wildlife found here include the ring-necked pheasant, scaled quail, and lesser prairie chicken. Since 2005, whooping cranes have been sighted twice at the refuge.

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Grulla is Spanish for "crane". Since the 1700s or earlier, the area was within the bison hunting territory of the Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache tribes. Evidence of prehistoric bison hunting has been found on the Refuge.

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    Recreation and Education Opportunities
Wildlife Observation
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Management Activities
Cattle from adjacent lands have grazed on the refuge grasslands since 1969 when the land was acquired form the Bureau of Land Management and fencing the area was determined to be unfeasible.