Audubon New Mexico IBA Designated a Ramsar Site
In April 2010, the international community recognized over 2,000 acres located on Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge and its close neighbor, Bottomless Lakes State Park, as a Wetland of International Importance under Ramsar—a treaty that promotes wetland conservation throughout the world. Designated the “Roswell Area Wetlands,” these wetlands are the first Ramsar site in New Mexico, the second Ramsar site in the entire Chihuahuan Desert ecoregion, and one of a handful of Ramsar sites in the Interior West. A portion of the wetlands is also an Audubon Important Bird Area, which provides essential breeding and migrating habitat for birds.
The Roswell Artesian Wetlands received international recognition because of the unique brackish sinkholes that are fed by artesian groundwater. The wetlands support more than 20,000 individuals of waterfowl, cranes, rallids, wading birds, shorebirds, gulls and terns during winter months and are home to 24 native species of fish and over 100 species of dragonflies and damselflies. Fifteen rare species also occur within the wetlands including the Pecos pupfish, the Pecos sunflower and the Roswell springsnail. Every year the Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge celebrates the areas’ diversity of life during its Dragonfly Festival. This year the festival will be held September 10-12, and there will be even more to celebrate! For more information visit Friends of Bitter Lake and The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.