U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
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Bitter Creek
National Wildlife Refuge

Approximately 10 miles west of Maricopa, at the intersection of Hwy. 166 and Cerro Noroeste Rd.
Kern County, CA   
Phone Number: 805-644-5185
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
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Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge

The Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge is located in the southwestern San Joaquin Valley foothills of Kern County, California. Elevations on the Refuge range from 1,600 to 4,680 feet. Purchased to protect dwindling California condor foraging and roosting habitat in 1985, the 14,097-acre refuge is the site where the last wild female condor was trapped in 1986.

Today, reintroduced condors feed and roost on the refuge. The refuge is an integral part of the Service's condor monitoring activities. The most notable physical features of the refuge are the San Andreas Fault, which bisects the refuge, and the dramatic Bitter Creek Canyon.

In addition to the California condor, the Bitter Creek Refuge provides grassland, oak woodland, chaparral, pinion pine/juniper/oak woodland, and riparian and wetland habitat for Federally-listed endangered San Joaquin kit fox, blunt-nosed leopard lizard, giant kangaroo rat, and species of Federal concern such as western spade foot toad, western horned lizard, and tri-colored blackbird.

Other terrestrial species on the refuge include coyote, bobcat, mountain lion, mule deer, black bear, pronghorn antelope, tule elk, badger, long-tailed weasel and western rattlesnake. A total of 119 bird species have been recorded on the refuge including 90 migratory species.

Getting There . . .
This refuge is closed to public use.

The public can view the Refuge along Hwy. 166 and Cerro Noroeste Rd., with the possibility of seeing California condors.

The Refuge is administered by Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex. The Refuge Complex main office is located off-refuge at 2493 Portola Road, Suite A, in Ventura, California.

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This refuge is closed to public use.

Recreation and Education Opportunities
Wildlife Observation
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Management Activities
The refuge is managed to preserve endangered and threatened plants and animals, including the historic California condor foraging and roosting areas.

Wildlife surveys for other threatened and endangered species are useful in assessing the status and health of populations using Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge.