4. Mexican Grey Wolf The lobo was once “top dog” in the borderlands, and when the wolf population returns to healthy numbers, biologists believe that lobos will restore balance to the Southwest’s ecosystems by keeping deer, elk and javelina—a type of peccary —populations healthy and in check. 5. Sandhill Cranes Sandhill cranes fly south for the winter and as they migrate towards Southern NM, they stop over right here in Albuquerque. You can see them along the Rio Grande Bosque each Fall in flocks of up to 10,000 cranes! 6. Purple Thistles One of the most interesting characteristics of the purple thistle is its ability to move toward anything which disturbs it. If something as small as an insect should try to crawl along the flower, the anthers would move to curl themselves around the insect, covering it with pollen at the same time. The plant can use the motion to protect itself from intruders. 7. Prairie Dogs You can easily watch Prairie Dogs throughout Albuquerque - especially along Tramway.These charismatic, rabbit-size rodents live in underground burrows, extensive warrens of tunnels and chambers marked by many mounds of packed earth at their surface entrances. Other animals benefit from their labors. Burrows may be shared by snakes, burrowing owls, and even rare black-footed ferrets, which hunt prairie dogs in their own dwellings.
8. Yucca In Bloom The "yucca flower" is the state flower of New Mexico and you can see many varietals throughout our city. 9. Albuquerque Roadrunner The roadrunner, also known as a chaparral bird, is a fast-running ground cuckoo that has a long tail and a crest. Did you know some have been clocked at 20 miles per hour? 10. Wild Verbena & Desert Marigolds The Sandia Foothills are host to a huge variety of flowering plants. In this picture are purple Wild Verbena and yellow Desert Marigolds. 11. Greater Short-Horned Lizard Like other horned lizards, it is often wrongly called a "horned toad" or "horny toad", but it is not a toad at all. It is a reptile, not an amphibian. 12. Sandia Juniper Juniper berries are a spice used in a wide variety of culinary dishes and best known for the primary flavoring in gin. Many of the earliest prehistoric people lived in or near juniper forests which furnished them food, fuel, and wood for shelter or utensils