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Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge

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Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge
P.O. Box 1246
Socorro, New Mexico 87801
Voice: 505-835-1828

The refuge is 57,191 acres located along the Rio Grande near Socorro, New Mexico. The refuge is located at the northern edge of the Chihuahuan desert, and straddles the Rio Grande approximately 20 miles south of Socorro, New Mexico. The heart of the refuge is about 12,900 acres of moist bottomlands--3,800 acres are active floodplain of the Rio Grande and 9,100 acres are areas where water is diverted to create extensive wetlands, farmlands, and riparian forests. The rest of Bosque del Apache NWR is made up of arid foothills and mesas, which rise to the Chupadera Mountains on the west and the San Pascual Mountains on the east. Most of these desert lands are preserved as wilderness areas.

The animals reflect the different habitats on the refuge. Several species of mammals including coyotes, mule deer, and elk occur on the refuge. Over 340 species of birds and many species of reptiles, amphibians and fish live here.

Plants are many and diverse to reflect the different habitats of the refuge. Cottonwoods are spectacular in October/early November. Visit the Desert Arboretum and the plantings around the visitor center for a sample of plants found both on the refuge and in the North American deserts.

Practically all Checkered Whiptails are females; they reproduce parthenogenetically. That is, their eggs hatch without fertilization and their offspring are genetic replicas of the mother. On occasion, they have mated with other species of lizards, resulting in color pattern variations. These lizards inhabit mesquite-creosote bush scrublands and shrub desert grasslands up through piņon-juniper woodlands, also sandy or gravelly arroyos and riparian areas. They are good climbers. They dig and forage for meals of insects, spiders and sometimes scorpions. In turn, birds and snakes find them tasty.



Pictures and information were provided by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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