• Bandelier Sunset

    Bandelier

    National Monument New Mexico

Rio Grande and Delta Wetlands

Water Strider

Water striders can be found in the waters of Frijoles Creek and the Rio Grande.

Photo by Sally King

In the arid environment of New Mexico, rain and snow are what ultimately sustain all life. The Rio Grande flows through Bandelier supporting a wide variety of plants and animals. It was important to the Ancestral Pueblo people for fishing, drinking water, and farming.
 
Killdeer

Killdeer frequent the marshy areas along the Rio Grande.

Photo by Sally King

Locally the river is heavily influenced by the presence of Cochiti dam built in the 1970s. The flow of the river has slowed, the temperature of the water has risen, and sedimentation has increased. The introduction of non-native fish species threaten native fish populations such as the Rio Grande cutthroat trout. The Rio Grande is still a very important habitat for many birds such as the sandhill crane, killdeer, and bald eagle. Animals that once roamed the shores of the river but were eliminated by human activity may someday return.
 
Sandhill Crane
Sandhill Cranes follow the Rio Grande during migration.
Photo by Sally King
 
Rio Grande Wetland
Rio Grande wetlands provide excellent habitats for frogs, birds, and a variety of insects.
Photos by Sally King

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