Creating a better life for the wildlife
Our secluded location in Mora County allows us to have a variety of ecosystems from grasslands to forests where a large diversity of animal species can exist. The ecological practices we have applied on the land have notoriously improved the habitat for the wildlife. Herds of hundreds of elk, some deer, beavers, and other mammals have made the ranch their home. Also, other animals like amphibians, birds, and pollinators come and go all around the property.
As part of the Wildlife Conservation work, we perform ongoing monitoring of the presence and abundance of bird species, and wild bee population dynamics. Throughout the year (Spring, summer, and fall) researchers come to the ranch to collect data on the species present. At the end of each year, we obtain reports containing valuable data that help us to understand the ranch biodiversity.
Although we enjoy the monitoring side of the program, we also believe simple practices can make huge positive effects. Some of the ones we performed include wildlife-friendly fencing, water throughs and escape ramps for wildlife, provision of shelter (bat houses, forestry opening), wildlife feeders, growing certain plant species for pollinators, and healthy pastures for grazers.
Our work includes:
For several years, Twin Willows Ranch has done bird monitoring on the property. From 2012 to 2013, the ranch was a site of biodiversity by the Denver Zoo. Based on sample locations from these efforts, bird monitoring has been conducted by Mollie Walton since 2016 and continues to this day. There have been 98 bird species recorded at Twin Willows. Below, you can visualize our Bird Guide 2020.
Twin Willows has provided an opportunity to learn about bees in an area of New Mexico where bee diversity had never been explored. In 2018, a survey of the bees was initiated on Twin Willows Ranch. This survey is performed twice a year (spring and late summer) and its goal is to document the species richness and abundance that occur in the area, creating an annotated list of its bees. Before the study, only 25 species had been documented for the entire Mora County. To date, 81 species have been found at Twin Willows Ranch, tripling the number known for the entire county before the initiation of this study three years ago.
There are some who can live without wild things and those who cannot.