Sevilleta was established in 1973. It is one of the largest refuges in the lower 48, consisting of 229,674 acres...359 square miles, and borders I 25, with the Rio Grande River flowing through it. The area reminded the Spanish soldiers of Old Seville in Spain...hence the name.
The Sierra Ladrones (Mountain of Thieves) lies west of the refuge at 9,176 feet and the entire Los Pinos Mountain Range, 8,320 feet, is located within the east side of the refuge.
This is the visitor center with the color that blends in well with the surroundings.
Most of our days have been spent inside learning the operations.
The raising of the flag to start the day.
We don't have that many visitors that stop by, and that makes for a long day. However, we have been kept busy.
There is a lot to learn about the refuge and I keep busy reading and learning all I can passing it on to Wallace.
It is a beautiful visitor center.
Here we sit behind the desk.
A small bookstore where there are things to buy.
This is my favorite, the puma. We were in the day a fellow walked in wanting to see how we displayed the animal he killed. He worked for the game and fish. The animal needed to be disposed of.
There are four biomes: The Colorado Plateau Shrubs Steppe (treeless), the Chihuahua Desert, The Great Plains short grassland prairie, and Pinion Juniper Woodland.
There are nine natural springs and 16 man made wells in operation in 2009 when 21 motion detector cameras were placed around the wells to see what uses the "drinkers." Currently, there are ten drinkers with cameras. We have a slide show of all the animals that come to the drinkers that will keep one entertained.
In 1995, this refuge was chosen as the Mexican Gray Wolf Facility for the reintroduction of this endangered animal. The canyon represents typical wolf habitat they would use in the wild. They are located on a remote piece of the property. We now have 5 in the acclimation pen. It is a controversial subject around here with the ranchers. I may have more on this later.
The Southwestern Willow Flycatcher is another endangered species that nests in the riparian corridor. Salt cedar removal is now taking place where more native plantings of willow and cottonwood can be done which will improve the habitat.
We finally got out in the field to collect the prairie dog traps. The season is over for them.
There were three sites where we walked with our bags, picking up the traps, flags and gutters.
We were each given a bag and a row which we walked to collect the traps, etc.
We walked back to the trucks to empty our bags.
The interns really appreciated our help and we finished before noon. It would have taken them all day.
Here we are putting our collections in the back of the truck to transport them back to headquarters taking them out again to store them there.
600 Gunnison's prairie dogs each year since 2010 have been reintroduced to the refuge and it will continue until it is determined that the population is stable and healthy. Their colonies provide benefits to other wildlife.
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Until next time...