The Pahranagat Valley IBA Complex encompasses two important features in Pahranagat Valley, the Pahranagat Valley National Wildlife Refuge on the south end of the complex and the Key-Pittman Wildlife Management Area to the north. These two publicly owned land parcels are separated by several privately-held ranches. Ash Springs and Crystal Springs also provide excellent willow-cottonwood (lowland riparian) communities for wildlife.  These lands likely contribute to the integrity of the site and landowner cooperation and bird-friendly management practices on these parcels are long-term goals of the IBA Program and its partners.

Ornithological Summary

The diversity of habitats found at Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), ranging from Mojave/Great Basin Desert Scrub to marsh and open water, provides excellent habitat for a variety of wildlife species.
Over 230 different species of birds utilize refuge habitats. A bird list is available online or copies may be obtained at the refuge office and at information centers located throughout the refuge. Bird abundance and diversity is highest during spring and fall migrations when large numbers of songbirds, waterfowl, shorebirds, and raptors are present. Common ducks are pintail, teal, mallards, and redhead. Great blue herons are found near lakes while black-necked stilts and American avocets are found feeding in shallow water. Greater sandhill cranes can be seen in February - March and again in October - November as they migrate between nesting and wintering areas. Red-tailed hawks, Northern harriers, Cooper's hawks, and American kestrels are most abundant during winter months and both bald eagles and golden eagles are also winter visitors. Cottonwood-willow habitat provides nesting habitat for warblers, orioles, flycatchers, and finches. The open fields attract shrikes, meadowlarks, blackbirds, and mourning doves. The uplands are home to Gambel's quail, roadrunners, and various sparrow species.

Conservation Issues

salt cedar, cheat grass, Russian olive, other invasives/exotics. drought. Agricultural interests taxing resources, particularly available water.


The north (Key Pittman WMA) and south ends of the complex are in public lands and are managed for wildlife. The intervening area is a series of privetly owned ranches. NV Department of Wildlife is attempting to build land-owner relationships and work with cooperative land owners to integrate wildlife values into land management.


~5% lakes/open water.

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