New Mexico Department of Game and Fish

A word from: Ginny Seamster, Wildlife Program Coordinator at New Mexico Department of Game and

Climate change is having, and will continue to have, major impacts on many species of wildlife. One thing that we can all do is help create habitat for wildlife that lives in and migrates through our state, especially for bird and insect pollinators. There are many drought tolerant, native plants that can benefit wildlife and help animals that migrate along their (often) long journeys. Some great sources of information on native plants that are suitable to your area and can benefit wildlife include Audubon’s Native Plant Database ( and, specific to the Albuquerque area, the Friends of the Valle de Oro’s Backyard Refuge Program ( The Backyard Refuge program has a guide that you can download after answering a few questions and provides excellent information on ways of improving your backyard, or even your porch or patio, to benefit wildlife. The Program’s website also provides links to many other sources of information pertinent to wildlife.

There are all different levels of habitat that you can provide. If you live in an apartment with a porch or patio, you can put out potted native plants that can attract bees, butterflies, and some birds and possibly a bird bath (though you want to be careful with the potential for birds running into windows and arrange your habitat features to minimize this or use one of the various techniques for making windows visible to birds). If you have a yard, then you can include a greater diversity of features including a water source, patches of bare ground for ground-nesting bees, some rock piles or other ground cover for lizards and other animals, and a diversity of plants with different heights and with different flowering times throughout the year. Focus on those features that attract the sort of wildlife that you are most interested in helping and want to see in around your house and, most importantly, have fun with it!

Thank you!