Wildlife of the San Luis Valley Wetlands

See the variety of wildlife that relies on wetland habitats dispersed across the expansive San Luis Valley of Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico.

  • The San Luis Valley is huge!  It is 150 miles long north-south and 50 miles wide, encompassing 4,000 square miles ( 2.56 million acres).
  • The valley is a high-altitude cold desert environment, with annual precipitation of only 7.6 inches.
  • Snowmelt originating in the San Juan Mountains and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains coupled with water from the Rio Grande River create patches of wetlands in the relatively dry valley.
  • Approximately 50% of the San Luis Valley is private land used primarily for agriculture.   Irrigation for agriculture also creates important wetland habitats for wildlife.

Learn more about the San Luis Valley Conservation Area.