New Mexico Wildlife Center (NMWC) was founded in 1986 by Dr. Kathleen Ramsay. Originally started to rehabilitate birds, the organization evolved to treat all species of wildlife in New Mexico. As NMWC’s reputation grew and the world awakened to the serious threats facing wildlife and wild habitats it became clear that saving the animals was not enough; we must work to preserve the habitats in which they thrive. To do this we must educate the human inhabitants of New Mexico by providing information and, more effective, by providing wildlife experiences. We believe that when people experience wildlife, they will be compelled to understand it. When they understand it, they will value it. When they value it, they will protect it.
In 2004, through a number of fortuitous events and donor generosity, most notably a bequest from a long-time volunteer and supporter, Pat Insley, New Mexico Wildlife Center was able to acquire a 20 acre parcel just south of Espanola that was owned by the BLM. This is now the setting for the Center and contains a wildlife hospital and rehabilitation facility as well as educational space for schools and other groups and a “Wild Walk,” exhibiting over 35 animals that could not be released into the wild. At New Mexico Wildlife Center visitors have an opportunity to see the wild animals endemic to New Mexico from just feet away. They may have an interpretive guide that can explain the circumstances that brought the animal to the center, the reason it could not be released, the habitat it requires and the environmental challenges its species faces.