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

Cabo Rojo
National Wildlife Refuge

A 2-mile interpretive trail and approximately  12 miles of hiking trails are available for birdwatching, photography and wildlife observation.
P.O. Box 510
BoquerĂ³n, PR   00622
E-mail: caribbeanisland@fws.gov
Phone Number: 787-851-7258
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
A 2-mile interpretive trail and approximately 12 miles of hiking trails are available for birdwatching, photography and wildlife observation.
Gray horizontal line
Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge

Cabo Rojo NWR, on the southwestern side of Puerto Rico, was established in 1974 when 587 of land were obtained from the Cental Intelligence Agency as an upland buffer for the Cabo Rojo Salt Flats (a potential Western Hemisphere Shorebird reserve) and its potential value as habitat for migratory birds. The 1249 acre Cabo Rojo Salt Flats, previously under private ownership were purchased and added to the refuge in1999 for a total of 1,836 acres.

The lands has been used for cattle ranching and agriculture for almost two centuries prior to Service ownership. Because of that practice much of the native vegetation has been replaced by plants from other regions and leaving the area barren except for a limited number of trees in drainages and near homesteads.

Many birds find their way to the refuge while migrating between North and South America. These birds use the refuge during the cooler months, while resident species are here year-round. It is highly valued habitat for doves and pigeons. The refuge is also a base for scientist to conduct research. The information they gather helps managers make decisions on how to protect and preserve native wildlife.

Getting There . . .
From Mayaguez, drive south on Route 2 (main highway) and exit Route 100 toward Cabo Rojo. When Route 100 ends, turn left onto Route 101. Drive .8 mile, then turn right onto Route 310. Drive approximately 3 mile and look for refuge sign on your left.

Get Google map and directions to this refuge/WMD from a specified address:

Your full starting address AND town and state OR zip code

Google Maps opens in a new window

NOTE: When using this feature, you will be leaving the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service domain. We do not control the content or policies of the site you are about to visit. You should always check site policies before providing personal information or reusing content.

These driving directions are provided as a general guide only. No representation is made or warranty given as to their content, road conditions or route usability or expeditiousness. User assumes all risk of use.

horizontal line

Wildlife and Habitat

Some of the bird species on the refuge are Prairie Warbler, Northern Parula, Cape May Warbler, while residents species included Puerto Rican Tody, Adelaide's Warbler, Caribbean Elaenia, Turpial and the endangered Yellow-shouldered Blackbird and Piping Plover. Although bats are the only living land mammals in Puerto Rico, introduced mammals may be seen including the small Indian mongoose and African patas monkey. The gently rolling hills of the refuge lie within the sub-tropical dry forest belt. At the present, the refuge is approximately 65 percent forest/scrub and 35 percent grassland.

Learn More>>

In 1967 the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) acquire 587 acres and constructed a "listening post" to monitor foreign communications. The antenna became obsolete with the advent of satellites and the property was transferred to the FWS. Prior to that, the refuge was part of several farms.

Learn More>>

    Recreation and Education Opportunities
Environmental Education
Learn More >>

Management Activities
Grassland management, through limited haying, is use to alter composition from exotic to native grasses to provided a better home for native species. Native trees are being planted to return the land to its original mature hardwood forest. Vegetation and water monitoring its also use as a management tool to restore and enhance native wildlife and plants. Other habitat and wildlife management activities practiced in the refuge are moist soil, farming, fores, fire, pest plant, bird banding, disease monitoring and treatment, reintroductions, nest structures, pest, predator and exotic animal control.