Currently Browsing: Biodiversity

Learn about the hundreds of rare plant and animal species in Otero Mesa.

Pronghorn Antelope

The Pronghorn Antelope, scientific name: Antilocapra americana is the only living member of its family and is limited to the American West. Before the great slaughter of the 1800’s it’s speculated that 40-50 Million Pronghorn roamed the plains, but the slaughter was not limited to strictly Bison and by 1915 only 15,000 Pronghorn remained. Attempts to reintroduce the...

Black-tailed prairie dog

The Black-Tailed Prairie Dog, scientific name: Cynomys ludovicianus is a member of the squirrel family. They live in plains and grasslands in Montana, Nebraska, Wyoming, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas. The Black-Tailed Prairie Dog stands an average height of 12" (when standing up on their hind legs). Like its cousin the White-Tailed Prairie Dog,...

Mountain Lion

The Mountain lion, scientific name; Felis conoclor is a large, long-tailed feline that was at one time quite common in all sorts of habitats where deer could be found but now, they are considered an unwanted predator and are now found primarily in remote areas. Contrary to popular belief the Mountain lion’s preferred dens include over-hanging rock...

Working List of Grasses for Otero Mesa

The following is presented only as a working list of grasses found on Otero Mesa in southern Eddy County, New Mexico. The list is based on the work by Kelly W. Allred, A Field Guide to the Grasses of New Mexico. This third edition guide is invaluable in learning about the grasses of New Mexico...

Long-billed Curlew

The striking Long-billed Curlew is another species of concern associated with declining grasslands. It is one of only 9 species that are considered to be endemic to the grasslands of the Great Plains. While the species does not nest on Otero Mesa, it certainly uses the area in migration and during the winter. There is hardly a...


The Coyote, scientific name: Canis lantrans is a medium sized member of the canine family. Coyotes live throughout the United States in most climates and areas. Coyotes found in valleys and deserts are typically smaller than mountain dwelling coyotes. Mountain dwelling coyotes weigh around 50 lbs whereas desert/valley dwelling coyotes weigh around 20 lbs. Coyotes are vocal...

Golden Eagle

Golden Eagle, scientific name: Aquila chrysaetos is a large solitary, predatory bird both admired and hunted because of their beautiful plumage. Their average length measures 32 inches and average wingspan is 78 inches. Golden Eagle feathers are a favorite item on the black market and the largest threat to the eagle is hunting and poaching. The Golden eagle...

Great Horned Owl

The Great Horned Owl, scientific name: Bubo virginianus, also known as the “winged tiger” measures 18-25 inches in length and has an average wingspan of 48 inches. The Great Horned Owl is a highly adaptable species and can be found in various climates throughout all of North America and some parts of South America as well. The owl...

Working List of Order Othoptera

WORKING LIST OF ORDER OTHOPTERA  (GRASSHOPPERS, KATYDIDS, CRICKETS, MANTIDS, WALKINGSTICKS, AND COCKROACHES) OF OTERO MESA, OTERO COUNTY, NEW MEXICO With it’s extensive grasslands and other habitats, Otero Mesa has a wide variety of members of the Order Orthoptera (grasshoppers, katydids, crickets, mantids, walkingsticks, and cockroaches). The following list is a compilation of two currently available books which...

American Avocet

American Avocet ...

American Coot

American Coot...

American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch...

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Coalition for Otero Mesa
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Contact us for more information about the Coalition for Otero Mesa, oil & gas development, or the ongoing effort to protect the last wild lands and open spaces in New Mexico.