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Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge
Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge © Joe Leavitt
Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge © Gary OToole
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Alamo, Nevada
Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge, established August 16, 1963, is located approximately 90 miles north of Las Vegas in Lincoln County, Nevada. Located within the Pacific Flyway, Pahranagat NWR was established to provide habitat for migratory birds, especially waterfowl. Pahranagat's lakes and marshes are a rare sight in this part of Nevada.

Pahranagat's water originates from large springs to the north of the refuge and is managed to obtain the most value for wildlife. Various types of wetland habitats support many plants favored as food by over 230 species of migratory birds and other resident wildlife. The refuge has four main water impoundments: North Marsh, Upper and Lower Pahranagat Lakes, and the Middle Marsh.

Numerous recreational opportunities are available at Pahranagat. Wildlife observation, fishing, and hunting are all popular activities enjoyed by refuge visitors. Birdwatching is also a popular activity, with a bird list available at the refuge or online. Camping and picnicking are permitted along the east shoreline of the Upper Lake. An active volunteer program provides additional opportunities to enjoy the refuge and student interns may be able to earn college credits through an internship at the refuge.
Nature of the Area
The diversity of habitats found at Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), ranging from Mojave/Great Basin Desert Scrub to marsh and open water, provides excellent habitat for a variety of wildlife species.

Over 230 different species of birds utilize refuge habitats. A bird list is available online or copies may be obtained at the refuge office and at information centers located throughout the refuge. Bird abundance and diversity is highest during spring and fall migrations when large numbers of songbirds, waterfowl, shorebirds, and raptors are present. Common ducks are pintail, teal, mallards, and redhead. Great blue herons are found near lakes while black-necked stilts and American avocets are found feeding in shallow water. Greater sandhill cranes can be seen in February - March and again in October - November as they migrate between nesting and wintering areas. Red-tailed hawks, Northern harriers, Cooper's hawks, and American kestrels are most abundant during winter months and both bald eagles and golden eagles are also winter visitors. Cottonwood-willow habitat provides nesting habitat for warblers, orioles, flycatchers, and finches. The open fields attract shrikes, meadowlarks, blackbirds, and mourning doves. The uplands are home to Gambel's quail, roadrunners, and various sparrow species.

Kit foxes and coyotes prey year-round on the many rodent species which inhabit all refuge habitats. Mule deer, the primary prey of the refuge's mountain lions, are most abundant during winter months.
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North on U.S. Highway 93 from Interstate 15 - 70 miles. Follow signs to refuge headquarters.

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State of Nevada Parks