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Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge facts for kids

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Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge
IUCN Category IV (Habitat/Species Management Area)
View in Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge.jpg
A view in the refuge
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Location Pima County, Arizona, United States
Nearest city Arivaca, Arizona
Area 117,107 acres (473.92 km2)
Established 1985
Governing body U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge (Buenos Aires NWR) provides 117,107 acres (47,392 ha) of habitat for threatened and endangered plants and animals. The refuge was established in 1985.

Natural history

The semidesert grassland supports the reintroduction of masked bobwhite quail and pronghorns. Prescribed and natural fires play a major role in maintaining and restoring the sea of grass that once filled the Altar Valley. Riparian (wetland) areas along Arivaca Cienega and Arivaca Creek attract an abundance of birds. Brown Canyon, to the west of the Arivaca Creek area, is nestled in the Baboquivari Mountains, where a sycamore-lined stream meanders through oak woodland.


The Refuge is home to 58 mammal species. Among the larger species are mule deer, white-tailed deer, pronghorn, javelina and puma. There are also more than 325 different bird species and 53 species of reptiles and amphibians.

There is also a small jaguar population in the area, which is contiguous, with Mexico. Between 2004 and 2007 an old male jaguar was followed by researchers in the area. The animal was called 'Macho B' by the researchers and has been previously photographed in 1996 in the area. During the study its home range compassed the mountains to east and west of the Altar Valley, which is situated in the Refuge. In addition at least one other jaguar was recorded in the area during that study.

The male jaguar, 'Macho B', is dead. The jaguar was euthanized after being captured on a snare trap. The trauma from the capture was too much for the 16-year-old feline.

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