Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge
|Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge|
IUCN category IV (habitat/species management area)
|Location||Hidalgo County, Texas, United States|
|Nearest city||Alamo, Texas|
|Area||2,088 acres (845 ha)|
|Governing body||U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service|
|Website||Santa Ana National Wildlife Service|
Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge is a 2,088-acre (8.45 km2) National Wildlife Refuge situated along the banks of the Rio Grande, south of Alamo in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, in Hidalgo County, South Texas.
The wildlife refuge was established for the protection of migratory birds in 1943. Its unique location is at the meeting of different climates and habitats: subtropical wetlands, Chihuahuan Desert, Gulf Coast, and Great Plains. Its riparian location has developed a reputation for diverse birding.
Both species are listed as endangered in the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as Amended. The Texas ocelot is listed in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Appendix I and the Gulf Coast jaguarundi (seen at left) is listed in the CITES Appendix II.
While not considered endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), these species are acknowledged as rare for the area.
A few species to be found there are black-bellied whistling duck, fulvous whistling duck, mottled duck, blue-winged teal, green-winged teal, and cinnamon teal, least grebe, anhinga, tricolored heron, American white ibis, lesser yellowlegs, long-billed dowitcher, and least tern.
Osprey, broad-winged hawk, northern harrier, and peregrine falcon are among the migratory birds of prey found in the refuge. Hook-billed kite and gray hawk, seen occasionally in the refuge, attract birders from around the world.
More than 35 species of spring New World warbler have been seen, including the golden-winged warbler, magnolia warbler, Northern parula, tropical parula, American redstart, palm warbler, and yellow-breasted chat.
Not to be outdone by its reputation as a birding paradise, Santa Ana is also home to almost half of all butterfly species found in the United States. More than 300 species of butterflies have been observed at the refuge. As many as 65 have been seen on a single day.
- Fws.gov: Official Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge website
- Texas Parks and Wildlife: Santa Ana NWR trails
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