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Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge

Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge
IUCN category IV (habitat/species management area)
A view in the refuge
Map showing the location of Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge
Map showing the location of Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge
Map of the United States
Location Pima County, Arizona, United States
Nearest city Arivaca, Arizona
Coordinates [1]
Area 117,107 acres (473.92 km2)
Established 1985
Governing body U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge provides 117,107 acres (473.92 km2) of habitat for threatened and endangered plants and animals.[2] The refuge was established in 1985.[3]


  • Natural history 1
  • Fauna 2
  • Access 3
  • See also 4
  • Reference links 5
  • External links 6

Natural history

The semidesert grassland supports the reintroduction of masked bobwhite quail and pronghorns. Prescribed and natural fires play a major role in maintaining and restoring the sea of grass that once filled the Altar Valley. Riparian (wetland) areas along Arivaca Cienega and Creek attract an abundance of birds. Brown Canyon is nestled in the Baboquivari Mountains, where a sycamore-lined stream meanders through oak woodland.


The Refuge is home to 58 mammal species. Among the larger species are mule deer, white-tailed deer, pronghorn, javelina and puma. There are also more than 325 different bird species and 53 species of reptiles and amphibians.

There is also a small jaguar population in the area, which is contiguous, with Mexico. Between 2004 and 2007 an old male jaguar was followed by researchers in the area. The animal was called 'Macho B' by the researchers and has been previously photographed in 1996 in the area. During the study its home range compassed the mountains to east and west of the Altar Valley, which is situated in the Refuge. In addition at least one other jaguar was recorded in the area during that study.[4]


Most of the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge is open for visiting and research. Guided access is also available with Friends of Buenos Aires NWR - Workshops and Walks events.

3% of the Refuge or roughly 3,500 acres (14 km2) was closed in 2006 to public access due to human safety concerns. At that time there was a marked increase in violence along the border due to human and drug trafficking. The closed area extends north from the international border roughly ¾ of a mile. As of 2010, this portion remains closed; however, the Fish and Wildlife Service reports a marked decline in violence.[5]

Environmental degradation is the most visible consequence of border crossings through the refuge. A few years ago, there were 45 abandoned cars on the Buenos Aires refuge near Sasabe, Arizona and enough trash that a volunteer couple filled 723 large bags with 18,000 pounds of garbage over two months in 2002.[6]

The male jaguar, Macho B, is dead. The jaguar was euthanized after being captured on a snare trap. The trauma from the capture was too much for the 16 year old feline.[7]

See also

Reference links

  • Official Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge website
  • Bird Checklists for Buenos Aires Wildlife Refuge
  • Friends of Buenos Aires NWR website

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

  1. ^ "Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge".  
  2. ^ . access date 6/20/2010
  3. ^ An Arizona Act of Kindness, Leaving Water for Immigrants, or an Offense? by Marc Lacey, New York Times 27 September 2010
  4. ^ Emil B. Mccain and Jack L. Childs: Evidence of resident Jaguars (Panthera onca) in the Southwestern United States and the Implications for Conservation. Journal of Mammalogy, 89(1):1–10, 2008
  5. ^ . access date 6/22/2010
  6. ^ Dumping of Trash, Waste, Endemic in State with Flood of Illegal Immigration Arthur H. Rotstein, Associated Press Newswires, Dateline Coronado National Memorial, Arizona July 12, 2004
  7. ^ . Macho B: Cover-up amid celebrations By Dennis Wagner , The Republic |

External links

Media coverage:

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