Imagine Our Story Destinations: Buenos Aires Wildlife Refuge

Pronghorn in Pima County? Coatimundis? Ringtails? YES! Only 60 miles southwest of Tucson is the Buenos Aires Wildlife Refuge.

Home to a rich, bio-diverse population of desert denizens, the refuge offers a lush landscape of grasslands, wetlands, and canyons. Established in 1985 to reintroduce and protect the masked bobwhite quail, as well as other native animals and plants, the refuge will awe you with its breathtaking view of Baboquivari’s majestic east face.       

You can cool off a bit on the east boundary of the refuge along the Arivaca Creek and Arivaca Cienega. These riparian wetlands are rare under the broiling Southwest sun and are so vital to the living things around them.

Through the refuge you may encounter foxes, bobcats, coyotes as they amble through the 117,464 protected acres they call home—oh, did I mention the jackrabbits, mountain lions, the elusive jaguar, and maybe a skunk or two?

Grazing cattle, suppression of natural fires, and the introduction of invasive grass species such as the bufflegrass and the Southern African Lehmann lovegrass, nearly succeeded in pushing the masked bobwhite quail to extinction.          

With careful management through prescribed burning, revegetation of native grasses, erosion control, and water harvesting, the long-term goal is to restore the refuge natural landscape for the benefit of these threatened quail and everyone else—bipeds, quadrupeds, winged, and scaly residents alike.

So pack up your family and give them a treat they won't soon forget and introduce them to the beauty that is Southern Arizona!


Find out more about what's happening at the Library this summer.