An Ecological Park Celebrating Little-Known Species

An Ecological Park Celebrating Little-Known Species

~Samantha Lewis

Roswell, NM – the home of the little green men. Right? Yes. But that is most definitely not the whole picture when it comes to this incredible area that works extremely hard to conserve wetlands, protect wildlife, and allow families to have a whole lot of fun.


images (2)The name is Bitter Lake. And although the title may sound a bit on the ‘sinister’ side, the Bitter Lake National Refuge located in Roswell, NM is one of the most amazing places a person can visit. Not only can people see and fall in love with the area, but dogs can also explore with their masters and mistresses.


Bitter Lake represents all different areas of ecology; from helping and protecting endangered species, to providing annual events that teach all about wetland conservation. Everyone knows how important wetland conservation is for this earth. And by protecting and preserving areas where water exists; such as swamps, marshes and bogs, the world’s ecosystems and the species that thrive in those habitats will remain healthy.


For those unaware, however, more than three billion people reply on inland freshwater wetlands for their very survival. These people also utilize rice to feed their families which is a crop that is grown in natural and artificial wetlands. Therefore, their lives and livelihoods count on our ecosystems to work and work well.


In 1947 a UFO supposedly crashed on this planet. There was a big mystery that still remains one of the most talked about cover-ups in America’s images (1) history. But it was actually ten years before that incident when something even more incredible happened in Roswell, NM that calls out to tourists right now. The stunning area where the Chihuahuan Desert meets the Southern Plains is a biologically significant wetland area of the Pecos River watershed system. In 1937, this became Bitter Lake, and at that time was created for the main purpose of providing a safe winter habitat for migratory birds. Now, the Refuge plays a crucial role in the conservation of wetlands in short supply in the desert southwest.


Over time, the Refuge has become far more. In 2014, this wetland area is actually the home to many wildlife species, including some of the state’s most rare and unusual creatures, such as the least shrew, Noel’s amphipod, least tern and Roswell spring snail. And when it comes to birds, Bitter Lake is one of those special habitats that supports over 350 different species of birds and the activity and sightings of new species never seems to end. Records of bird activity are kept year-round, and when it comes to the springtime, songbirds are making the most noise at Bitter Lake. Marsh and shorebirds frequent the location when the heat of summer hits the Southwest, and in the autumn a slew of raptors come to town. And although many believe that the hot desert doesn’t actually see winter, it does. And when the cooler temperatures hit, Bitter Lake becomes the home for the waterfowl species. It has even been recorded that species like the stunning Sandhill Crane can number into the thousands during the wintertime – which is far more than the number of little green men that apparently met up with Roswell on a bad flight.


The people of Roswell and the friends who support Bitter Lake also love to celebrate the holiday season with many events. Coming up at the end of November, the Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge Special Holiday Program is incredibly awesome. The entire family comes and is mesmerized by the migrating cranes as they fill the sky.


imagesAnd when it comes to children, at the beginning of December the Bitter Lake Refuge hosts a Youth Pheasant Hunt that kids absolutely love to be a part of. For the avid adult hunter out there, the 2014-2015 hunting season at Bitter Lake Wildlife Refuge is in full swing. The ‘hunt’ has begun, and running through February 15, 2015 hunters of deer, feral hog, pheasant, quail, rabbit – you name it – are welcome to come and chase their most-wanted prey.


In other words, there is a place out there in the desert that is doing amazing work by providing wetland conservation and protecting species from across the country. And it, perhaps along with those little green men from long ago, is calling out to YOU to come and enjoy the holiday season!


Read More about Bitter Lake!


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