|Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge|
IUCN category IV (habitat/species management area)
|Location||Rio Grande County, Colorado, United States|
|Nearest city||Monte Vista, Colorado|
|Area||14,800 acres (60 km2)|
|Governing body||U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service|
|Website||Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge|
Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge is a United States National Wildlife Refuge located in southern Colorado. The refuge is located in the San Luis Valley south of the town of Monte Vista, Colorado in southeastern Rio Grande County, Colorado, in the watershed of the Rio Grande. It was established in 1953 by the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission to provide a habitat for wildlife, particularly waterfowl, in the San Luis Valley.
The site was historically an agricultural area and thus water is intensively managed on the refuge, especially in comparison to the nearby Alamosa refuge. Irrigation includes numerous dikes and other water control structures that provide water to a patchwork of diverse wetland habitats ranging from shallow wet meadows to open water. The refuge includes Artesian wells, pumped wells and irrigation canals, some dating to the "ditch boom" of the 1880s. The refuge is a major stopover for migrating greater sandhill cranes moving between their wintering area around Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico and breeding grounds in the northern United States and southern Canada. Up to 20,000 cranes pass through in the spring and again in the fall. Three remaining endangered whooping cranes from a failed attempt to establish a wild migratory population in the 1980s can be seen migrating with their foster species, the sandhill crane. Beginning in the 1980s, a herd of elk began using the refuge. At present, several hundred elk may be seen on the refuge seeking winter food and sanctuary from hunting pressure on nearby public lands.
The San Luis Valley is a region in south-central Colorado with a small portion overlapping into New Mexico. It is the headwaters of the Rio Grande. It contains 6 counties and portions of 3 others. The San Luis Valley was ceded to the United States by Mexico following the Mexican–American War. Hispanic settlers began moving north and settling in the valley after the United States made a treaty with the Utes and established a fort. Prior to the Mexican war the Spanish and Mexican governments had reserved the valley to the Utes, their allies. During the 19th century Anglo settlers settled in the valley and engaged in mining, ranching, and irrigated agriculture. Today the valley has a diverse Anglo and Hispanic population.
Rio Grande County is one of the 64 counties of the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 11,982. The county seat is Del Norte. The county is named for the Rio Grande, which flows through the county.
Monte Vista is the Home Rule Municipality that is the most populous municipality in Rio Grande County, Colorado, United States. The city population was 4,444 at the 2010 United States Census.
The sandhill crane is a species of large crane of North America and extreme northeastern Siberia. The common name of this bird refers to habitat like that at the Platte River, on the edge of Nebraska's Sandhills on the American Plains. This is the most important stopover area for the nominotypical subspecies, the lesser sandhill crane, with up to 450,000 of these birds migrating through annually.
Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge is a United States National Wildlife Refuge located in two separate sections in central Chaves County, New Mexico, United States, a few miles northeast of the city of Roswell. Both sections lie on the banks of the Pecos River. The refuge was established in 1937 to provide habitat for migratory birds such as the sandhill crane and the snow goose, but it is also notable for rare native fish and the over 90 species of dragonflies and damselflies that inhabit the refuge.
The Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge is located in southern New Mexico. It was founded in 1939 and is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It is a favorite spot to watch the migration of the Sandhill cranes in the fall. The reserve is open year-round and provides safe harbor for its varied wildlife.
The Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge is a 35,000 acre (142 km2) National Wildlife Refuge located along the Tennessee River near Decatur, Alabama. Named after Major General Joseph Wheeler, it was established to provide a habitat for wintering and migrating birds in the eastern United States.
The Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge is an 11,169-acre (4,520 ha) United States National Wildlife Refuge located in southern Colorado. The site is located in the San Luis Valley along the east side of the Rio Grande approximately 8 miles (13 km) southeast of Alamosa primarily in southeastern Alamosa County, although very small parts extend into northeastern Conejos and western Costilla counties. It is managed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service jointly with the Baca and Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuges. It was established in 1962 as a haven for migratory birds and other wildlife.
The Baca National Wildlife Refuge is a 78,697-acre (31,848 ha) United States National Wildlife Refuge located in southern Colorado. It is within the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area.
The Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory (SABO) is a nonprofit membership-supported scientific and educational organization founded in 1996 in Bisbee, Arizona, USA. The mission of the Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory is to promote the conservation of the birds of southeastern Arizona, their habitats, and the diversity of species that share those habitats through research, monitoring, and public education.
The San Luis National Wildlife Refuge Complex is located in the northern San Joaquin Valley, within Merced County and Stanislaus County of California. The complex, with four federal National Wildlife Refuges, is managed by the U.S Fish & Wildlife Service.
Grays Lake National Wildlife Refuge is a National Wildlife Refuge of the United States located in southeastern Idaho. It has the largest hardstem bulrush marsh in North America. Located in a high mountain valley near Soda Springs, the refuge and surrounding mountains offer scenic vistas, wildflowers, and fall foliage displays. Lands adjacent to the 19,400-acre (79 km2) refuge are primarily wet meadows and grasslands. The refuge provides breeding habitat for species of mammals including moose, elk, mule deer, muskrat, badger, and weasel.
The Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, located south of Sacramento, California, lies within the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta, the destination of thousands of migrating waterfowl, shorebirds, and other water birds. The refuge was established in 1994.
The San Luis National Wildlife Refuge in the San Joaquin Valley of central California is one of the great remnants of a historically bountiful wintering grounds for migratory waterfowl on the Pacific Flyway. Located in the Bear Creek, Salt Slough, and San Joaquin River floodplain, it hosts a myriad of tree-lined channels and oxbows, wetlands and native grasslands.
The Merced National Wildlife Refuge encompasses 10,262 acres (41.53 km2) of wetlands, native grasslands, vernal pools, and riparian areas in California. It was established in 1951 under the Lea Act to attract wintering waterfowl from adjacent farmland where their foraging was causing crop damage. In the last few decades, changes in agricultural practices and refuge management have reduced these wildlife/crop issues.
The San Luis Valley Conservation Area is a proposed "landscape scale" National Conservation Area in south-central Colorado and far northern New Mexico which would be administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:
The Closed Basin Project is a groundwater extraction project in the San Luis Valley in Colorado, United States, operated by the United States Bureau of Reclamation.
The Blanca Wetlands Area of Critical Environmental Concern, or Blanca Wildlife Habitat Area, is an area of the San Luis Valley in Colorado, United States, that serves as a refuge for birds, fish and other wildlife. It is about 11 miles (18 km) northeast of Alamosa on County Road 25. The wetlands had been completely destroyed by pumping and diversion of water for irrigation. Starting in 1965 the Bureau of Land Management began to restore them, and they have become an increasingly important ecological habitat for shorebirds, waterbirds and other wildlife and native plants.
San Antonio Mountain is a free-standing volcanic peak in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico. With an elevation of 10,908 feet, San Antonio Mountain is the highest peak within the Taos Plateau volcanic field, the largest volcanic field within the Rio Grande Rift valley.
Bosque del Apache Wilderness is a designated Wilderness Area on the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in Socorro County, New Mexico. Managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Wilderness, established in 1975, contains 30,427 acres distributed between three units.