Did you know that New Mexico has the fourth-highest native species richness of all U.S. states? It also ranks 11th in endemism (species found only in New Mexico) with 90 known endemic species. That’s enormous biodiversity! With more than 4,500 known species calling the state home, New Mexico’s animal life and plant life span a huge range of habitats and converging ecoregions, including:

• Colorado Plateau
• Southern Rocky Mountains
• Arizona-New Mexico Mountains
• Central and Southern Short-Grass Prairies
• Chihuahuan Desert
• Apache Highlands

These diverse ecoregions contain several life zones, such as:

• Alpine tundra
• Coniferous forests
• Woodlands
• Grasslands
• Desert shrublands
• Riparian areas

New Mexico’s size, varied terrain and mixed climate make it the perfect habitat for a range of plants and animals, all of which you have a chance to observe on your next camping trip!

Animals You Might Encounter on Your Next Visit

If you’re an avid camper (of either the RV or tent variety!), you’re likely a fan of enjoying nature and taking in the scenic beauty of the outdoors. And if that’s true, you’ve probably seen or encountered some wildlife on your adventures.

Thanks to New Mexico’s vast biodiversity, camping anywhere in the state means you’ll probably cross paths with a wild animal or two—or take in some of the state’s native plant species as they flower and grow.

Animals you might encounter in the woods and on the plains include:

• Elk
• Deer
• Pronghorn antelope
• White-tailed rabbits
• Gray squirrels
• Gray foxes
• Wolves
• Coyotes
• Mountain lions
• Bobcats

You might also encounter black bears, which just so happen to be the New Mexico state animal.

If you’re a bird watcher, keep an eye out for:

• American goldfinches
• American crows
• Chipping sparrows
• Cactus wrens
• Hummingbirds
• Great blue herons
• Common ravens

Keep an eye out for road runners, too! They’re the New Mexico state bird.

Hoping to do some fishing? You might catch New Mexico’s state fish, the cutthroat trout. In the past, New Mexico was home to shovelnose sturgeons and the American eel, but these species have since been lost.

Where to See Native New Mexico Wildlife

If observing wildlife is on your must-do list, consider visiting one (or all!) of these local nature and wildlife areas:

• Valles Caldera National Preserve
• Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park
• Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge
• Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness
• Randall Davey Audubon Center
• Wild Rivers Recreation Area
• J. Kenneth Smith Bird & Nature Sanctuary
• Cibola National Forest
• Mescalero Apache Tribe
• Philmont Scout Ranch
• Wheeler Peak Wilderness Area
• Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge
• Pecos Wilderness Area
• Wildlife West Nature Park

The Taos Valley has plenty of opportunities to offer nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. Book your stay at the Taos Valley RV Park & Campground today and start planning your next adventure. Make sure to bring binoculars to view animals from a safe distance, and be sure to always respect our state’s beautiful flora and fauna.