• Bandelier Sunset

    Bandelier

    National Monument New Mexico

Canyon Riparian Areas

Upper Frijoles Creek

The availability of water makes the riparian areas places with a great diversity of life.

Photo by Dale Coker

Creek-side environments, called riparian zones, are particularly rich areas due to the availability of water. Lush shrubbery and overhanging deciduous cottonwood and alder trees provide food, precious shade, and habitat for insects, amphibians, and small mammals. these in turn attract predators - rattlesnakes, birds, coyotes, and bobcats.

The Ancestral Pueblo people knew the value of these places as sources of both food and water. These areas may be seen as ribbons of bright green along the canyon bottoms.

 
male Western Tanager
The riparian zone boasts the greatest diversity of life within the park.
Photo by Sally King
 
garter snake
Did you know that garter snakes can swim?  They find food plentiful in the riparian zone.
Photo by Sally King

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