- The major focus is wetland and water management to provide food, cover, and production habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife.
The refuge is located primarily within the Rio Grande Flood Plain. The natural wet meadows, river oxbows, and riparian corridors sustain a rich wildlife diversity. While not favoring an abundance of any one species, these wetlands support songbirds, waterbirds, raptors, deer, beaver, and coyotes, along with the endangered bald eagle, peregrine falcon, and whooping crane.
The refuge lies in the southern portion of the San Luis Valley, a high mountain desert area receiving approximately 7 inches of precipitation/year. Both spring and fall, thousands of sandhill cranes migrate to the Valley. Suring spring, summer and fall, ducks, geese, avocets, ibis, and herons abound. Winter, with its "icebox" conditions is the time for eagles, hawks, and owls.
The refuge wetlands are fed by irrigation canals and ditches through diversions from the Rio Grande River. Alamosa NWR houses the Complex Headquarters office and visitor center next to the River. It offers two hiking trails and an Auto Tour Route for wildlife viewing.