The flora and fauna of New Mexico

New Mexico is known not just for its amazing food and beautiful sceneries and landscapes but for its extremely diverse flora and fauna. In fact, it is considered as one of the most biologically diverse states in the U.S.

This of course makes the state that much more interesting, considering as well its warm people living in communities with traditional raised garage door doors.

New Mexico is home to more than 4,500 species of plants and animals. In fact, it is considered as one of the converging areas for different life zones which include the alpine tundra, coniferous forests, woodlands, desert shrub lands and ripararian areas.

To underscore the biological diversity of the state, New Mexico has several plants recognized as part of its symbols, and adopted by the state as a representation of the diversity of its plant life. These plants include: the state grass called blue gramma that was adopted in 1973; the state flower called yucca that was adopted in 1927; the state tree called pinon that was adopted in 1949 and the state vegetables which are the chile and the frijole, both adopted in 1965.

In addition to this, New Mexico hosts plant wildlife that include hearty, drought resistant trees and plants. Among these are the Juniper, Cottonwood, Douglas fir, Russian Olive, Blue Spruce, Ponderosa Pines, as well as lower growing plants such as Russian Thistle (Tumbleweed), Sagebrush, and Prickly Pear Cactus.

Another important component of the New Mexico wildlife is its prairie grasslands. It is home to the Mescalero Sandsheet’s sand shrubland and shortgrass prairie. Located in eastern New Mexico and western Texas, this is one of the largest remaining intact grasslands in North America. The landscape — which boasts stands of shinnery oak and playa lakes — retains and purifies water, generates farming and ranching income, and harbors prairie species including the dunes sagebrush lizard, black-tailed prairie dog, burrowing owl, Cassin’s sparrow and ferruginous hawk.

The State’s very diverse wildlife population include the elk, deer, and antelope as well as white-tailed rabbits, gray squirrels, gray foxes and wolves, coyotes, mountain lion and bobcats.

The New Mexico state animal is the black bear, which was adopted in 1963. Birds found in New Mexico include the American goldfinch and crow, chipping sparrow, cactus wren, hummingbird, great blue heron and the common raven. Its statebird is the roadrunner, adopted in 1949. The cutthroat trout became the state fish in 1955, but because of river diversions and droughts, Most of the land animal species that currently live in the Rio Grande valley were there before the arrival of Coronado in 1540. The Middle Rio Grande Valley supports at least three turtle species, nine lizard species and 13 snake species. There are over 60 species of mammals in the bosque, most of which are rodents. There are 11 species of bats in the valley, and well over 200 species of birds that use the valley as their home or mating grounds. Throughout the state there are more than 1100 species of amphibians, reptiles, mammals, birds, invertebrates, and fish.