The Mescalero Sands Conservation Opportunity Area (COA) encompasses 241,311 ha (596,292 ac) beginning approximately 40 km (25 mi) west of Hobbs and extending north and then east to the Texas state line south of Portales. Land stewardship is divided among four entities: 40% privately-owned, 39% BLM, 17% SLO, and 4% by the Department. It contains >20 Important Bird Areas (Department Prairie-Chicken Areas), four TNC conservation areas (Milnesand, Lone Wolf, Querecho Plains, and Mescalero Sands), but only 7% is protected. Landcover includes 17 native vegetation habitats, open water, and agricultural lands. Most is Great Plains Sand Grassland and Shrubland (46%) or Great Plains Shortgrass Prairie (38%). This COA contains no perennial aquatic habitat.


Habitat Name Habitat Size in Hectares
Arid West Interior Freshwater Emergent Marsh 12.24
Chihuahuan Desert Scrub 27867.69
Chihuahuan Semi-Desert Grassland 2328.3
Cliff, Scree & Rock Vegetation 1816.02
Great Plains Floodplain Forest 0.99
Great Plains Mixedgrass Prairie 3.69
Great Plains Sand Grassland & Shrubland 110929.5
Great Plains Shortgrass Prairie 92038.5
Herbaceous Agricultural Vegetation 1787.13
Intermountain Dry Shrubland & Grassland 4442.13
Intermountain Dwarf Sagebrush Shrubland 0.45
Madrean Lowland Evergreen Woodland 25.29
Montane-Subalpine Wet Shrubland & Wet Meadow 0.36
Open Water 1.98
Rocky Mountain Montane Shrubland 58.5
Rocky Mountain Pinyon - Juniper Woodland 1.08
Southwest Riparian Forest 21.24
Warm & Cool Desert Alkali-Saline Wetland 35.55
Warm-Desert Arroyo Riparian Scrub 3.96

Species (SGCN)

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