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Desert National Wildlife Refuge
The Desert National Wildlife Refuge encompasses 1.5 millions acres of the diverse Mojave Desert in Southern Nevada. It is the largest National Wildlife Refuge in the 48 contiguous states, more than 2,200 square miles.
One key management objective is providing protection for the desert bighorn sheep.  The Desert Bighorn Sheep have roamed the southwest for centuries and is a beautiful site to behold

desertwildlifesmall.jpg
click  photos to enlarge

Included in this Wildlife Refuge is six major mountain ranges, the highest rising from 2,500-foot valleys to nearly 10,000 feet. Annual rainfall ranges from less than four inches on the desert valley to over fifteen inches on the highest mountain peaks.  By comparison of the six mountain ranges, Sheep Range is the highest, most scenic, and supports the greatest diversity of wildlife and vegetation.

The US Fish and Wildlife works diligently to actively improve bighorn habitats by developing new water sources, maintaining and improving existing habitats. Creating dependable year-round water sources located throughout bighorn sheep habitat enable bighorns to use all available habitat which reduces competition for food, land cover, water, and space.

Several other wildlife species co-inhabitate the wildlife range with the bighorns.   For example, mule deer, coyotes, badgers, bobcats, foxes, and an occasional mountain lion are the larger mammals. All together, more than 260 species of birds have been identified on the range. Examples are phainopepla, roadrunner, pinyon jay, house finch, loggerhead shrike, red-tailed hawk, and the famous golden eagle.

The primary access point to the Desert National Wildlife Refuge is via the Corn Creek Field Station, which can be reached off of Highway 95, approximately 23-miles outside of Las Vegas. desertwildlife2small.jpg

The area around the Corn Creek Field Station includes a small pasture, tress, and several spring-fed ponds which attract a wide variety of migrating birds not commonly observed in the surrounding arid environment. The ponds provide habitat for the endangered Pahrump poolfish, transplanted here when their native habitat was destroyed.

At the Corn Creek Field Station there is a small, non staffed, visitors alcove providing maps and general information about local flora and fauna.

Probably the most traveled route, the Mormon Well Road, is suitable for four-wheel drive or high clearance two-wheel drive vehicles only.  This road starts from Highway 95 and terminates on Highway 93 near State Route 168. Under typical conditions, the travel time from Las Vegas is about four hours total.

 

 

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