Big Game Habitat
La Tinaja Guest Ranch lies within the overall ranges of game species including mule deer, American elk, mountain lion and black bear, all big game species that are of economic importance to Cibola County and the State of New Mexico, and that contribute significantly to the biodiversity of the region.
The property lies within overall range of elk and within winter range and critical winter range mapped by the New Mexico Game and Fish Department. Elk may be present on the property at any time of the year. During spring and fall, elk are commonly observed feeding in the meadows during mornings and evenings, while retreating to the woodland and forest margins for thermal cover and security during the day.
Elk are most numerous on the property during the fall hunting seasons. Based on the presence of scat and barked ponderosa pine saplings, elk are common across the property.
The property lies in mule deer summer and winter range and mule deer are often observed roaming on the property. Mule deer are expected to fawn in the property's woodlands. The meadows, shrublands and woodland margins provide important cover and year-round forage for mule deer.
La Tinaja Guest Rance lies within the overall range of mountain lion, a wide-roaming species with a relatively large territory size requirement. Mountain lion can be expected to occur on the property occasionally, following the movements of elk and mule deer, their primary prey species.
Given the steep and variable topography of the property, the structure and composition of the vegetation communities, and the presence of rock outcrops, it is expected that lions find good cover and denning opportunities on the property.
The property lies within the overall range of black beer. The black beer is a wide-roaming species with a relatively large territory size requirement. Black bear are observed occasionally on the property and can be expected to occupy teh canyon areas, especially during the fall when black bears forage in stands of fruit- or mast-bearing shrubs.
Habitat for Other Wildlife
La Tinaja Guest Ranch provides habitat or habitat linkages for small animals with large home ranges moving across the surrounding landscape, including many woodland- and shrubland-dependent neotropical songbirds whose populations are declining in all or part of their ranges.
Migratory bird species that are likely to visit or breed on the property include flammulated owl, Williamson's sapsucker, Lewis's woodpecker and Cassin's finch (all associated with ponderosa pine vegetation communities); and common nighthawk, juniper titmouse, green-tailed towhee, black-chinned hummingbird, gray flycatcher, ash-throated flycatcher, juniper titmouse, bushtit, Bewick's wren, blue-gray gnatcatcher, Townsend's solitaire, black-chinned sparrow and Scott's oriole (associated with pinyon-juniper vegetation types).
Golden eagle, reg-tailed hawk, northern harrier, great-horned owl and American kestrel are fairly common (year-round or seasonally) in the area and across the property.
Wild turkeys are also common on the property, especially during spring and fall months. Turkeys in the area are altitudinal migrants, moving to lower elevations of deciduous wooded riparian areas to escape deep snow in winter. Turkeys forage on available insects, seeds and fruit-bearing shrubs across the property.
Coyote, red fox, bobcat, badger, striped skunk, raccoon, cottontail, porcupine, weasels, squirrels, chipmunks, mice, voles and shrews are know or expected to inhabit or visit the property and utilize its habitat types. Several bat species are expected to be observed as seasonal migrants or visitors to the property, finding suitable day roosts in the property's woodlands.
Reptiles and Amphibians
Reptiles and amphibians known or anticipated to be found on the property are prairie rattlesnake, western terrestrial garter snake, bull snake and tiger salamander.