Sheldon

National Wildlife Refuge - NV,OR

The Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge is on the northern border of the U.S. state of Nevada. A very small part extends northward into Oregon. The Sheldon Refuge is noted for its population of wild horses. Advocates characterize Sheldon as one of the few intact sagebrush steppe ecosystems in the Great Basin, one that hosts a variety of wildlife endemic to the unique environment. Desert fishes, greater sage-grouse, migratory birds, mule deer and the pygmy rabbit are all residents.

maps

Official Nevada State Highway Map. Published by the Nevada Department of Transportation (NVDOT).Nevada State - Nevada State Highway Map

Official Nevada State Highway Map. Published by the Nevada Department of Transportation (NVDOT).

brochures

Brochure of Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Nevada. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Sheldon - Brochure

Brochure of Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Nevada. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Sheldon NWR https://www.fws.gov/refuge/sheldon/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheldon_National_Wildlife_Refuge The Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge is on the northern border of the U.S. state of Nevada. A very small part extends northward into Oregon. The Sheldon Refuge is noted for its population of wild horses. Advocates characterize Sheldon as one of the few intact sagebrush steppe ecosystems in the Great Basin, one that hosts a variety of wildlife endemic to the unique environment. Desert fishes, greater sage-grouse, migratory birds, mule deer and the pygmy rabbit are all residents.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge Discover the treasures that lay hidden in this vast and rugged landscape, while experiencing wildness and solitude that stretch as far as the eye can see. Virgin Valley, one of many beautiful vistas at Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge. ©Linda Dufurrena Welcome Wildlife Diversity Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge protects over 900 square miles of wildlife habitat in the northwestern corner of Nevada that can easily be accessed from Highway 140. It is home to large herds of pronghorn antelope, scattered bands of bighorn sheep and a rich assortment of other wildlife. Over 270 wildlife species are found in the varied landscape of Sheldon Refuge. This diversity is an indicator of the health of the environment. Each species is important because it fills a niche in this complex and fragile natural system. ©Jim Witham Mammals The landscape is vast, rugged and punctuated with scenic treasures. Narrow gorges and lush springs lay hidden among the rimrock tablelands and rolling hills of sagebrush and mountain mahogany. This is the heart of the high desert. Elevations on the Refuge range from 4,100 to 7,200 feet, while annual precipitation rarely amounts to more than a dozen inches. It is a harsh environment where a wide variety of wildlife manages to thrive. Features of Interest Inset: Meadow south of Badger Campground Snakes R. Blacker/USFWS ©Linda Dufurrena Pygmy rabbit Western rattlesnake Fish While many mammals stay on the Refuge year-round, others such as pronghorn, mule deer, and bats migrate to surrounding areas or further each year. Many hibernate or move about the Refuge as the seasons change. The pygmy rabbit, American pika, Greater sage-grouse and their habitats are being studied because of population declines in recent years. A small number of lizard and snake species are attracted to the numerous rocky outcroppings, bluffs and canyons. The western rattlesnake is the only venomous reptile of which visitors should be aware. Only two species of native fish (chubs) swim in Refuge waters. The sport fish found on the Refuge, including the Lahontan cutthroat trout, were introduced in fairly recent years. Lahontan cutthroat trout Birds to Butterflies Although established for the protection of wildlife and habitat, the Refuge encompasses many other features of interest. The remains of old homesteads and ranches intrigue visitors, fire opals draw miners and rock collectors to Virgin Valley, and geothermal warm springs piped into a pool at Virgin Valley Campground create a refreshing oasis. Above: Fritillary butterfly; Background photo: D.B. Marshall/USFWS Right: Mountain Bluebird Various brightly colored butterfly species can be seen on the Refuge in the spring and summer. Most of the birds on the Refuge use it for summer residence or a stop along their spring and fall migrations. Distinguished Species Managing Habitat Refuges do more than just preserve open space. Habitat on the Sheldon Refuge is being restored and managed for the greatest benefit of the wildlife that call this wild area home. Juniper Expansion For several reasons western juniper is slowly taking over sagebrush habitats throughout the Great Basin, including portions of Sheldon Refuge. Even though juniper is a native tree, cutting down juniper where it historically did not grow helps restore habitat needed by sage-grouse, pronghorn, and other sagebrush dependent wildlife. Fire Fire is an important management tool used to revitalize Refuge habitat. While burned areas may look devastated immediately after a fire, grasses and flowering plants quickly recover as the habitat is reborn, leading to improved biological diversity. Horses, Burros and Livestock Historically, horses, burros, sheep and cattle grazed on Refuge lands. Removal of horses and livestock was an important step toward restoration of habitats for fish and wildlife throughout the Refuge. Plants grow slowly in the harsh desert environment and it will be decades before habitats resemble what existed before overgrazing occurred. Through the history of the Refuge, a few species have been distinguished due to their cultural and biological significance. Gary Montoya/USFWS Pronghorn Greater Sage-grouse California Bighorn Sheep Around the turn of the 20th century, pronghorn (antelope) populations were dwindling in North America. Conservation efforts, such as the establishment of refuges, have helped them rebound. Large numbers of pronghorn gather at Sheldon Refuge in late summer and fall to water and feed on greenery. This encompasses restoration from all impacts, not just overgrazing. Nonetheless, since the establishment of the Refuge grazing has hindered restoration efforts. Pronghorn rely on keen eyesight and remarkable speed for safety. Greater sage-grouse prefer habitat with gentle hills and valleys where openings of low sage intersperse big sagebrush patches. In the spring, they gather on

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