“Roswell wildlife area”
Salt Creek Wilderness Area is a part of the Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). Bitter Lake NWR was established in 1937 to provide wintering habitat for migratory birds. The Refuge plays a crucial role in conservation of wetlands in the desert southwest. Salt Creek Wilderness Area consists of acres of river bottomlands, grasslands, sand dunes, and mixed shrub communities. Salt Creek Wilderness is part of the Salt Creek watershed which empties into the Pecos River in southeastern New Mexico. The Bitter Lake refuge is located near Roswell, NM, immediately west of the Pecos River as shown in green in the map to the right. The primary reason Salt Creek was established as a wilderness area was to protect the scenic red bluffs on the north side of Salt Creek. Species that use the wilderness include the mallard, widgeon, pintail, and ruddy ducks, geese, bald eagles, snowy egrets, pelicans, and sandhill cranes. In the uplands, roadrunners, scaled quail, ring-necked pheasant, desert cottontails, black-tailed jackrabbits, mule deer, coyotes, bobcats, and badgers are present. Virtually no waterfowl or waterbirds use the wilderness area of Salt Creek because it is devoid of wetlands other than the river and a dozen sinkholes. Two or three of the sinkholes contain rare fish – Pecos gambusia, which is endangered and the Pecos pupfish, a species of concern.
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Salt Creek Wilderness
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