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

Address:
Devil's Hole Rd, Ash Meadows Wildlife Refuge, NV
Directions:
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).

[Roadsideamerica.com Team, 01/06/2008]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Big Bovine of the DesertBig Bovine of the Desert, Amargosa, NV - 7 mi.
World's Largest FirecrackerWorld's Largest Firecracker, Amargosa Valley, NV - 16 mi.
CoffinwoodCoffinwood, Pahrump, NV - 17 mi.
In the region:
Castle in Clay, Shoshone, CA - 31 mi.

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