Bosque del Apache NWR (bosque) continues to amaze me as I move forward with the amazing opportunity I have been presented with. Cold winter weather is in the past and the always expected New Mexico heat has arrived, with it comes a diverse collection of flora and fauna special to bosque and New Mexico. As bosque transitions from thousands of wintering waterfowl and Sandhill cranes to thousands of shorebirds and neotropical migrants, I am astonished by the species diversity bosque houses. Bosque has the second most documented bird species of any wildlife refuge in the United States with an astounding 408 bird species!
With the change in seasons also comes a change in duties and responsibilities for everyone on the refuge. Spring/summer months for bosque are critical periods for agriculture, because this is when food for wintering waterfowl is produced. Water from the Rio Grande and groundwater wells is critical to the production of this food and requires much attention from refuge staff. Since my last blog, I have also shifted my responsibilities to documenting water data across the refuge and maintaining water infrastructure used to control and direct these waters. Data collection consists of measuring groundwater depths on and around bosque on a monthly basis, as well as assisting with documenting surface water data daily. This data will aid in the understanding of bosque’s hydrologic system and aid in understanding the effects that climate change has on the refuge’s water resources. With extensive data collection, bosque can better understand the proper steps to take against climate change and less water in the future.
The days of New Mexico are become increasingly warmer (almost as hot as the chili) and I am excited to see what our efforts will produce for bosque! Bosque is a gem hidden in the upland deserts of New Mexico and must be seen as this if it is to be conserved. I am excited to be a part of these conservation efforts and keep bosque an amazing place for others to enjoy. I am thankful to work at such an amazing place with many amazing people that share the same values as myself.
Agency: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Program: US Fish & Wildlife Service
Location: Bosque del Apache NWR