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USA Parks
South Plains Region
Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge
Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge Young Bobcat © Dennis Eccleston
Bobcats are repotedly quite common in the refuge but rarely seem to appear when you have a camera ready
Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge Banded Kingfisher © Dennis Eccleston
This large noisy Kingfisher can ofter be seen in the refuge along with the small green kigfisher.
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Rt. 2 Box 202A
Alamo, Texas   78516
Along the banks of the lower Rio Grande is the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, a 2,088 acre refuge established in 1943 for the protection of migratory birds. Considered the ?jewel? of the refuge system, this essential ?island? of thorn forest habitat is host or home to nearly 400 different types of birds and a myriad of other species, including the indigo snake, malachite butterfly and the endangered ocelot.

At an ecological crossroad, Santa Ana is strategically located where subtropical climate, gulf coast, great plains and Chihuahuan desert meet. Thousands of birds from the Central and Mississippi flyways funnel through the area on their way to and from Central and South America. This small patch of midvalley riparian woodland is also habitat for about one half of all butterfly species found in the United States.

Before dams and control structures significantly reduced the flow of the Rio Grande, periodic floods cut shifting channels into the delta creating crescent-shaped oxbow lakes, referred to as ?resacas.? Santa Ana?s management program mimics the historical flooding of the Rio Grande, maintaining the bottom land hardwood forest and providing crucial nesting and feeding habitat for birds, watering holes for animals, and homes for countless amphibians, reptiles, crustaceans and insects.

With over 95 percent of the original habitat in the lower Rio Grande delta cleared or altered, Santa Ana is a reminder of the semitropical thorn forest that once dominated the area.
Nature of the Area
Bobcat, coyote, armadillo, long-tailed weasel and Mexican ground squirrel are a few of the mammals found on the refuge. The endangered ocelot and jaguarundi are also present but rarely seen.
Day-UseHiking Trailyes

Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge is located near Alamo, Donna and Edcouch

There are 12 miles of foot trails and access roads that are open to hiking in addition to the 7-mile tour road. These trails vary in length from ? mile (paved and wheelchair-accessible) to the seven mile Wildlife Drive. Some start from the Visitor Center, others from parking lots along the wildlife drive. Trails are open every day from sunrise to sunset. During the winter season, roving naturalists and guides are available to assist visitors.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
October 28 Bicycling in the park by D. Scoville (N.S. & Mission)
park review stars; one to five Policies and logistics can be developed to re-introduce safe biking within the park. Many senior local residents and Winter Texas seniors would like to stay active and complete the entire park trail on their bicycles. Stopping this activity is short sighted and park revenues also must be impacted. We have tried to have this activity re-instated without success.
January 23 A favrite birding location by Transplanted New Englander
park review stars; one to five A key stop on our annual birding pilgrimage to the Valley.
September 3 Family Heirloom
park review stars; one to five I remember spending many amazing Easters here, we never really wanted to hunt eggs, just to walk the trails and ride the tour bus. Now I take my children and have a great time!
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Area Campgrounds
Trails End RV Resort
2001 South Texas Boulevard
Weslaco, TX
Alamo Palms
1341 West Business Highway 83
Alamo, TX
Alamo Recreation Vehicle Park
1320 West Frontage Road
Alamo, TX
Casa del Valle
1048 North Alamo Road
Alamo, TX
Oleander Acres
2421 South Conway
Mission, TX
Victoria Palms Resort
602 North Victoria Road
Donna, TX
J-Five RV Park
3907 N Taylor
Mission, TX
Nearby Hotels

Refuge headquarters is located 7 miles south of Alamo, Texas, on FM 907 about 1/4 mile east on U.S. Highway 281.

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State of Texas Parks