Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge Updated:04/2022

As a hub of condor activity and research opportunities, Bitter Creek NWR is a unique keystone at the nexus of two mountain ranges encompassing much of the historical California condor range and serving as an important wildlife corridor.

The refuge protects habitat within an important east/west running mountain range and provides movement corridors for populations of native ungulates, raptors, and other wildlife.

Condor and other wildlife movements extend beyond refuge boundaries and exemplify the Service’s contribution to a much larger conservation initiative as we partner with public and private landowners. Alongside these charismatic animals, so, too, can lesser known and rare wildlife and plant species thrive within this intact and functioning ecosystem. Also protected on the refuge are Native American cultural resources and remnants of 19th century homesteads.

Historically, the Bitter Creek area was used as a cattle ranch and used extensively by wild condors before all remaining wild condors were brought into captivity in 1987. Interest in acquiring the refuge property was initiated when plans to subdivide the area for development were made public. Conservation organizations maintained that substantial development and the associated increase in human activity would not be compatible with the condors’ use of the area (USFWS 2008a). In 1985, acting under the authority of the Endangered Species Act, with Land and Water Conservation funding, approximately 800 acres of the former Hudson Ranch and adjoining properties were acquired by the Service to conserve plants and wildlife listed as endangered species or threatened species. Although the refuge provides habitat for several listed species, the primary goal for the establishment of the refuge was to preserve essential foraging and roosting habitat for the California condor (USFWS 1975).

Contact Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge

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Contact Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge

Wildlife Refuge Manager
2493 Portola Rd.
Suite A
Ventura, CA  93005
Phone: (805) 644-5185

Service Area

Services provided in:
  • Kern County, California
  • San Luis Obispo County, California
  • Ventura County, California