Montane Grasslands

Blue Grouse (Dusky var)

Birds are attracted to the rich food resources of the open meadows and the protection of the nearby forest.

Photo by Sally King

Finally, in the highest mountain areas, montane grasslands and meadows are found on flat, wet areas with poorly drained soils and on the slopes of high, windswept ridges. At the edges, where the grasslands meet the surrounding forests, a great diversity of life thrives: many birds and mammals are attracted by the food resources of the grassland with the protective cover of the forest close at hand.

montane grassland

Deposits of obsidian are often found near the montane grasslands in Bandelier.

Photo by Dale Coker

On the Pajarito Plateau, the montane grasslands surround valuable obsidian sources. Ancestral Pueblo people traveled through these areas and collected the wild plants and berries on their way to quarry obsidian for tools. Today, the encroachment of trees is leading to the disappearance of montane grasslands and wet meadows in Bandelier.
shooting star, lupine, mariposa lily

An abundance of colorful wildflowers inhabit the montane grasslands and meadows.

Photos by Sally King

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