BITTER LAKE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
Endangered Species Field Trip
Located approx. 12 miles East of Roswell, New Mexico
When: The first Saturday
of the month from September until May
Where: Meet at the Refuge Headquarters
Bring: Hardy shoes, though there is not much walking on this tour, and people of all physical abilities can participate; binoculars for viewing wildlife; and your camera.
Duration: About 2 hours.
For Information and to reserve your space, the refuge number is 505-622-6755, ext 29
The Endangered Species Field Trip was the brain child of John Magera, a former BLNWR assistant manager, for the purpose of introducing to the public some of the little known species and environments found in a section of the refuge which is normally off limits.
The refuge was established in 1936. Many of the structures, including buildings, roads, and waterways were constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps shortly after the establishment. The closed section north of the Headquarters, where the field trip takes place, consists of the only natural lake, approximately 60 sink holes, and the springs which provide the water for the refuge lake and ponds.
Each sinkhole is an unique habitat, with size and water quality varying greatly in each hole. The variety of the habitat is the basis of the variety of animals found in the area. Including 60+ species of dragonflies, 30+ species of damselflies, along with numerous reptiles, amphibians, fish, birds, and mammals.
The tour leaders speak on the history of the Refuge and the natural history of the species found here. They explain the water sources, current efforts and future plans of the refuge to protect this special enchanted spot of New Mexico.
highlight of the field trip is found at Sago Springs, located north of
Bitter Creek, where can be seen the endangered species Noel's amphipod
(a shrimp-like crustation also known as "sideswimmers", genus
Gammarus) and the Roswell spring snail, a tiny snail about the size of
a pin head.