Desert National Wildlife Refuge

Desert National Wildlife Refuge

Coordinates: 36°46′00″N 115°26′00″W / 36.7666667°N 115.4333333°W / 36.7666667; -115.4333333

Map showing the Desert National Wildlife Reserve and other federal properties in southern Nevada
Desert Environment in the Desert National Wildlife Refuge

The Desert National Wildlife Range is a protected wildlife refuge, administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, located north of Las Vegas, Nevada, in northwestern Clark and southwestern Lincoln counties, with much of its land area lying within the southeastern section of the Nevada Test and Training Range. The Desert NWR, created on May 20, 1936, is the largest wildlife refuge in the lower 48 states of the United States,[1] encompassing 1.615 million acres (6,537 km²) of the Mojave Desert in the southern part of Nevada.[2] This Range is part of the larger Desert National Wildlife Refuge Complex, which includes the Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, Moapa Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge, and the Amargosa Pupfish Station.


Description of refuge

Corn Creek Springs at Desert National Wildlife Refuge

Range/Refuge staff work out of the Corn Creek Field Station, which includes a visitors center, which is located 23 miles (37 km) north of Las Vegas, Nevada. The Range can be accessed from U.S. 95 North.

The Desert NWR contains six major mountain ranges, including the Sheep Range, with heights up to 10,000 feet (3,000 m) and valleys around 2,500 feet (800 m). Annual rainfall in the range varies from less than four inches (102 mm) in the valleys to over fifteen inches (381 mm) on the mountain peaks.

Perpetuating the desert bighorn sheep and its habitat is the most important objective of the range. The Range actively improves bighorn habitats by developing new water sources and maintaining and improving existing ones. Numerous other wildlife species share the range with bighorns.

In addition to wildlife the Range also boasts an abundance of plant communities. Plant communities and wildlife found on the Range vary with altitude and climate. Most of these plant species can be seen while driving the Morman Well Road (which can be accessed from the Corn Creek Field Station). The desert shrub community, composed of creosote bush and white bursage are the dominant shrubs in the hottest, lowest elevations of Desert National Wildlife Range. Above the valley floor, Mojave yucca and cactus become abundant. At the upper edge of the desert shrub communities, between approximately 4,200 to 6,000 feet (1300 to 1800 m), black-brush and Joshua tree are dominant. Above 6,000 feet (1800 m) desert woodlands, composed of single-leaf pinyon, Utah juniper, and big sagebrush begin. The coniferous forest communities begin around 7,000 feet (2100 m). From 7,000 to 9,000 feet (2100 to 2700 m) Ponderosa pine and white fir are the dominant trees. Near 10,000 feet (3,000 m) where the growing seasons are the shortest, the only trees surviving are bristlecone pines.

Numerous recreational opportunities are available on the Range. Camping, hiking, backpacking, and horseback riding are all popular activities enjoyed by refuge visitors. Limited hunting for bighorn sheep is permitted. Please contact the Refuge Manager for additional information.

Although it is the largest National Wildlife Refuge in the Lower 48 states, there are eleven larger ones in the state of Alaska.

See also


  1. ^ Green, Jason C. (2007-11-16). "Groups criticize energy corridors". Las Vegas Review-Journal (Stephens Media). 
  2. ^ USFWS Annual Lands Report, 30 September 2007

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Desert National Wildlife Refuge Complex — The Desert National Wildlife Refuge Complex is a protected wildlife refuge, administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, located north and west of Las Vegas, Nevada in northwestern Clark, southwestern Lincoln, and southern Nye counties in… …   Wikipedia

  • National Wildlife Refuge Association — Abbreviation NWRA Formation 1975 Type Non profit organization Purpose/focus Wildlife Conservation Headquarters Washington …   Wikipedia

  • Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge — The Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge is a protected wildlife refuge, located at the southern end of the Pahranagat Valley and administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It is situated convert|90|mi|km north of Las Vegas, Nevada in… …   Wikipedia

  • Kofa National Wildlife Refuge — Infobox protected area | name = Kofa National Wildlife Refuge iucn category = IV caption = locator x = 44 locator y = 114 location = Yuma County and La Paz County, Arizona, USA nearest city = Yuma, AZ lat degrees = lat minutes = lat seconds = lat …   Wikipedia

  • Merced National Wildlife Refuge — A flock of Sandhill Cranes landing The Merced National Wildlife Refuge encompasses 10,262 acres (41.53 km2) of wetlands, native grasslands, vernal pools, and riparian areas. It was established in 1951 under the Lea Act to …   Wikipedia

  • Modoc National Wildlife Refuge — is home to more than 250 species of birds and a variety of other wildlife. Located in a high altitude desert valley on the western edge of the Great Basin in Modoc County, California, the refuge is part of a large complex of mid altitude wetlands …   Wikipedia

  • Colusa National Wildlife Refuge — is one of six refuges in the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex located in the Sacramento Valley of north central California. The refuge is about 70 miles (110 km) north of the metropolitan area of Sacramento. The 4,507 acre… …   Wikipedia

  • Cibola National Wildlife Refuge — is a U.S. National Wildlife Refuge in the floodplain of the lower Colorado River between Arizona and California and surrounded by a fringe of desert ridges and washes. The refuge encompasses both the historic Colorado River channel as well as a… …   Wikipedia

  • Delevan National Wildlife Refuge — The Delevan National Wildlife Refuge is one of six refuges in the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex in the Sacramento Valley of north central California. The 5,797 acre (23.46 km2) refuge is approximately 80 miles (130 km)… …   Wikipedia

  • Malheur National Wildlife Refuge — Coordinates: 43°15′57″N 118°50′39″W / 43.26583°N 118.84417°W / 43.26583; 118.84417 …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.