Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge
|Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge|
IUCN category IV (habitat/species management area)
|Location||Kern County, California, United States|
|Nearest city||Maricopa, California|
|Area||14,097 acres (57.05 km2)|
|Governing body||U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service|
The Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge is located in the foothills of the southwestern San Joaquin Valley in Kern County, California. The refuge is one of four units of the Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex for California condors.
Elevations on the Refuge range from 1,600 to 4,680 feet (1,430 m). Purchased to protect dwindling California condor foraging and roosting habitat in 1985, the 14,097-acre (57.05 km2) refuge is the site where the last wild female condor was trapped in 1986.
Today, the 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.
As of July 2014, there is a total population of 437 condors living in sites in California, Baja California and Arizona. This includes a wild population of 232 and a captive population of 205. 68 free-flying Condors are managed by the US Fish & Wildlife Service in Southern California.
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 the western spadefoot toad, the western horned lizard and the tri-colored blackbird.
Other terrestrial species on the refuge include coyote, bobcat, mountain lion, mule deer, pronghorn, tule elk, and western rattlesnake. A total of 119 bird species have been recorded on the refuge including 90 migratory species.
- Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge profile
- Official Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge website
- "Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
- "California Condor Recovery Program (monthly status report)" (PDF). National Park Service. 31 July 2014. Retrieved 31 August 2014.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge.|
- Condor Watch The Condor Watch crowdsourcing project, started April 2014.