Towering palm trees rise above prickly pear cactus; dunes and mud flats along the Gulf Coast meld into a river forest and eventual thorn forest; and a long and winding river that serves as an international border is also an important lifeline to many species of wildlife found nowhere else in the United States.
Here, where the Rio Grande meets the Gulf of Mexico, 11 distinct habitats can be found, making it one of the most biologically diverse areas in North America. Four climates (coastal, temperate, sub-tropic, desert) converge, as do two migratory flyways, the Central and Mississippi. Within these four most southern counties of Texas is also where more than half (520+) the bird species in the United States come to nest, rest and feed. The 300 species of butterflies found here depend on many of the 1,200 types of plants that thrive in this delta flood plain. This is the lower Rio Grande Valley of South Texas, home of the ocelot, green jay and malachite butterfly.
Due to the foresight and wisdom of others, the Laguna Atascosa, Lower Rio Grande Valley and Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuges have been established to ensure this biological richness will always exist for the benefit of wildlife and you.