Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center photo by Linda Rockwell
Located where the Chihuahuan Desert meets the Southern Plains, Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge is one of the more biologically significant wetland areas of the Pecos River watershed system. Established in 1937 to provide wintering habitat for migratory birds, the refuge plays a crucial role in the conservation of wetlands in the desert Southwest.
Originally designated the Carlsbad Bird Refuge in 1935, at first glance, Bitter Lake Refuge appears as a desolate, barren landscape dotted by occasional sumps, sparse grasses and shrubs. Upon closer examination, visitors realize that the geologic features, bubbling springs and unique desert wildlife make the refuge a true oasis. In fact, several designations — Globally Important Bird Area, National Natural Landmark and Ramsar International Wetland of Importance — pay homage to the tremendous value of this transitional area between the Chihuahuan Desert and Southern Great Plains1.
Refereneces: 1U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service