Extremely varied habitat is found within and nearby the ranch, including two wetland-dominated national wildlife refuges (Monte Visa NWR and Alamosa NWR) the sage-shrubland valley floor, piñon-juniper foothills, montane forest mountain slopes, and alpine tundra (not to mention the continent's tallest sand dunes.) Among the diverse ecological settings of the San Luis Valley and its surrounding mountains we will address the following questions:
What causes communities to have the avian constituents that they do?Of course, we won't be sitting around a classroom with the windows closed talking all day- our class will be field-based and you can count on lots of great birding in a remote, under-visited (thank goodness!) part of the state. If you'd like more information, email me and I'll send you an itinerary or try to answer whatever questions you may have.
What factors limit membership in bird communities?
How do member species partition the resources in their communities?
How is bird community ecology affected by humans?
Check out the other 2008 IFO offerings, too- lots of great topics in great places with great instructors!