Alamosa, Monte Vista, and Baca National Wildlife Refuges are areas set aside for migratory birds and resident wildlife. The Refuges are now combined administratively to form the San Luis Valley Refuges Complex. These Refuges are a part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, a network of lands set aside and managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service specifically for wildlife. The Refuge System is a living heritage, conserving wildlife and habitat for people today and generations to come.
The artificially created wetlands on Monte Vista’s 14,804 acres are intensively managed to provide habitat for a wide variety of waterfowl and other water birds. Mallards, pintails, teal, and Canada geese are common, as are American avocets, killdeer, white-faced ibis, egrets, and herons. Irrigation canals and wells provide precious water to maintain this important habitat.