Lonely Planet Writer

Rare pupfish visitor center opens in Mojave Desert

Pupfish at Ash Meadows.
Pupfish at Ash Meadows. Image by Bill Debevc / CC BY 2.0

A $10 million visitor center has opened at Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, a 23,000-acre area of springs and oases 90 miles west of Las Vegas. The refuge has long been the place to see a rare fish species native to the local hot springs called the pupfish. As many as 75,000 visitors come to Ash Meadows each year, often just to catch a glimpse of the tiny pupfish, which measures under an inch in length. Researchers hope the visitor center will help scientists manage the population of pupfish, which has seen recent declines – one subspecies of pupfish number only around 100. The refuge is also home to 26 endemic plant and animal species, 14 of which are classified as endangered. Read more: reviewjournal.com