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Science

Gunnison's prairie dogs/USFWSNational Wildlife Refuges work closely with other researchers, Universities, and science-based organizations interested in supporting the agency's wildlife conservation mission.

Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge is host to the University of New Mexico’s Long Term Ecological Research program, initiated in 1988 and the only one of 21 sites across the country. The refuge hosts a diverse array of research projects conducted by researchers from around the globe.

Research
The four biomes that intersect on Sevilleta National Wildlife offer unique opportunities for research.  Natures’s junctions often buzz with activity, and the wildlife and plants interact in fascinating ways.  Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge is a mecca for scientific study of these significant transition zones.  Each year there are approximately 100 research projects conducted on the refuge.  A few topics of the diverse research on the refuge include:  geologic and soil mapping, pollinator guild populations, cactus-insect interactions, lizard response to climate change, ring-tailed cat population distribution, diet and energy allocation of western box turtle, climate variability on tree mortality and recruitment, monsoon rainfall and drought manipulation, soil surface dynamics, evapotranspiration, core site phenology, net primary productivity, seedling monitoring, and fire on the landscape.  

Sevilleta Long Term Ecological Research (LTER)
Since 1988, the refuge has hosted the Sevilleta Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) site. Sevilleta is the only national wildlife refuge to host one of the twenty-six LTER locations in the United States or internationally, and several universities have research projects underway here. The Sevilleta LTER is part of the National Science Foundation’s Long Term Ecological Research Network and is managed by the Department of Biology of the University of New Mexico.  They study how climate variability and climate change act together to affect plant and animal communities in transition zones.  This includes studying the individual effects of temperature, air pollution, climate variability, drought, and increased rainfall.  To learn more about the Sevilleta LTER, visit their website.

Page Photo Credits — Gunnison's prairie dogs-adult and a young pup/USFWS, Gunnison's prairie dogs/Jeremy Stein ©, All photos courtesy of USFWS unless otherwise noted.
Last Updated: Sep 24, 2012
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