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A mountain in the Mojave Desert. Photo by Alex Neibergs/BLM.

Chocolate Mule Mountains HMA

The wild burros were introduced to this area in the mid-1800s when mining was most active. As the miners abandoned their mines, they turned the burros out to fend for themselves.  The burros are commonly gray, brown, and black, but other colors can occur.  The animals are generally between 10 and 12 hands and weigh between 400 and 600 pounds.

Location: The Chocolate Mule Mountains Herd Management Area is located in southeastern Imperial County, CA along the Colorado River bordering the Picacho State Recreation Area west of Yuma, AZ.

Size: 203,539 acres

Topography/Vegetation: The major vegetative type is of the Mojave Desert ecosystem, dominated by creosote bush and other shrubs, with sparse herbaceous understory.  Joshua trees also live in this area providing shade for the animals.  Dry lake beds, also called playas, are scattered in the area.  The elevations vary from below sea level to mountains.

Wildlife: Smaller mammalian species and many reptiles are common in these ecosystems.   Jackrabbits, coyote, badgers, occasional mule deer, big horn sheep in the higher elevations, and many rodent species live in the area.

AML:  109-133