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Ash Meadows Wildlife Refuge, Nevada: Last Refuge of the Devil's Hole Pupfish

Out in the middle of a hellish desert, surrounded by a high fence, and the Pupfish still don't want to stay alive.

Ash Meadows Wildlife Refuge

Devil's Hole Rd, Ash Meadows Wildlife Refuge, NV
In the Ash Meadows Wildlife Refuge. Take Ash Meadows Rd/Bob Rudd Memorial Hwy either 17 miles west of Pahrump, Nevada, or 1.5 miles east of the California/Nevada state line. Watch for the sign for Devils Hole. Drive north into the desert on a dirt road for around five miles, then bear right onto Point of Rocks/Devils Hole Rd for 1.5 miles. Bring water, a hat, and sunscreen.
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Devil's Hole.

Last Refuge of the Devil's Hole Pupfish

Death Valley has a special spot, surrounded by a fence, in feeble defense of a creature on the verge of extinction. It's the last natural environment where you'll find the Devil's Hole Pupfish -- an iridescent blue fish, only an inch long. The last pupfish live in 92 to 93 degree F water on a rock shelf in a 400 ft. submerged cave. The 6x12 ft. rock shelf is visible from the surface, surrounded by a fence with warnings and an explanatory sign.

Unfortunately, even this last refuge is losing pupfish at an alarming rate, for unknown reasons. The official 2006 count (scientists conduct a twice-yearly audit) was down to about 38 adults.

Interpretive sign about Pupfish.

A couple of Devil's Hole pupfish were relocated to the Mandalay Bay casino's Shark Reef Aquarium in the hopes of establishing a population in an aquarium (and more convenient to tourists if the doomed pupfish bounce back).

[ Team, 01/06/2008]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Big Bovine of the DesertBig Bovine of the Desert, Amargosa Valley, NV - 7 mi.
Amargosa Opera HouseAmargosa Opera House, Death Valley Junction, CA - 11 mi.
World's Largest FirecrackerWorld's Largest Firecracker, Amargosa Valley, NV - 16 mi.
In the region:
Coffinwood, Pahrump, NV - 17 mi.

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