• Sierra del Carmen

    Big Bend

    National Park Texas

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  • Extreme Water Shortage

    Extreme water shortage throughout park. Visitors are limited to 5 gallons per day, and are encouraged to conserve further when possible. Please consider bringing your own water to the park.

Nature & Science

Mule Ears Spring
Mule Ears Spring
NPS Photo/Cookie Ballou
 

Big Bend is famous for its natural resources and spectacular geology. The park's varied array of habitats support more than 1,200 species of plants (including some 60 cacti species), 11 species of amphibians, 56 species of reptiles, 40 species of fish, 75 species of mammals, 450 species of birds, and about 3,600 species of insects. The park boasts more types of birds, bats, and cacti than any other national park in the United States.

Big Bend National Park also marks the northernmost range of many plants and animals, such as the Mexican long-nosed bat. Ranges of typically eastern and typically western species of plants and animals come together or overlap here. Here, many species are at the extreme limits of their ranges. Latin American species, many from the tropics, range this far north, while northern-nesting species often travel this far south in winter. Contrasting elevations create additional, varied micro-climates that further enhance the diversity of plant and animal life and the park’s wealth of natural boundaries.
 
Ocotillo Blossoms

Diversity Makes the Difference
The author Fredrick Gelbach describes these borderlands aptly when he calls them “a carpet of interacting plants and animals deftly woven on a geologic loom.” more...

 
Bear Cub

Science and Resource Management
Interest in conducting research at a park is a measure of the scientific significance of park resources. more...

Did You Know?

The Chisos Mountains

If there was ever a Spanish gold or silver mine any place in the Chisos Mountains, it has not been found. The rocks in the high Chisos Mountains peaks that can be seen from the old Presidio de San Vicente are lavas of volcanic origin, and gold and silver do not usually occur in such an environment. More...