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Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge

Contact Info
National Wildlife Refuge System
60911 Highway 95
Parker, AZ 85344

National Park


Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge is located along the Bill Williams River in La Paz and Mohave Counties, Arizona, with the river as the dividing line between the two counties. The refuge was established in 1941 as part of Havasu NWR as mitigation for the Boulder (Hoover) and Parker Dam projects. In 1993, the two refuges were separated and the Bill Williams Unit became the Bill Williams River NWR. There are few places in the world where one can stand, look at a Saguaro cactus, a cattail stand, and a cottonwood tree together. This unique blend of upland desert, marsh, and desert riparian habitats provides for a diverse array of birds, mammals, and reptiles. The cottonwood/willow forest is the last Riparian restoration and protection of native flora and fauna that depend on this habitat are management priorities. Planting and maintaining cottonwood and willow trees, controlling saltcedar and reintroducing native fish are included in future plans. Returning the flows in the river to a more natural state which will better mimic historical conditions is the best management tool for restoring native flora and fauna. The refuge is an important part of the lower Colorado River Ecosystem as it contains the largest remaining cottonwood/willow stands in the ecosystem.Over 275 bird species are found here. This includes southwestern willow flycatcher, vermilion flycatcher, yellow-billed cuckoo, western tanagers, Lazuli bunting, Townsend's warbler, black-throated gray warbler. The Yuma clapper rail nests in the delta. Beaver, raccoon, bobcat, mountain lion, gray fox, javelina, mule-deer, desert bighorn sheep, ringtailed cat are a few of the mammals found on the refuge. Razorback sucker and bonytail chub have been reintroduced in the delta.

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Basic Directions

To get to Bill Williams River NWR from Lake Havasu City, Arizona follow Arizona Highway 95 south approximately 23 miles. Headquarters are located between mileposts 160 and 161.

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