A seasonal closure of the Rio Grande Nature Trail on Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge will be in effect starting Friday, 04/15/2022 to protect the federally endangered southwestern willow flycatcher.
The southwestern willow flycatcher is a smalldependent songbird that uses willow and cottonwood habitat for migration, foraging, and nesting. Human activities (e.g., hiking, bicycling) have the potential to disrupt nesting territory establishment and foraging and nesting activities, making adults less attentive to their eggs or young, and expose nests to predators. Any human disturbance that leads to temporary or permanent negative effects to breeding success slows the recovery of this species.
Riparian habitat along the Rio Grande on Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge is designated critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act. Protection and management of endangered species is the highest priority of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The purpose of the Endangered Species Act is to protect and recover imperiled species and the ecosystems upon which they depend. This seasonal closure of the Rio Grande Nature Trail will reduce human disturbances during the southwestern willow flycatcher's nesting season when they are most vulnerable. We appreciate your cooperation in protecting the southwestern willow flycatcher by complying with the seasonal closure. Signs at the trail head will indicate where public entry is prohibited. The reopening of the trail is expected when the nesting season is completed, on or about September 1, 2022.
For additional information or questions, please contact Refuge Biologist Scott Miller at 719-852-4594 or Refuge Management at (719) 589-4021.