Exploration on the Rio Grande

Last Thursday NMWC staff headed back down to Santo Domingo. Fortunately, the weather was much improved this time. The morning was pretty cool, but the sun showed its face, and it was a fantastic day to explore the Rio Grande Bosque.

We began the day with a trash pick up, and students collected three massive trash bags full of trash! We also hiked around the bosque and looked for signs of life. Students made some great lists, which included coyote scat, kangaroo rat tracks, a bird’s nest, a burrow, and feathers. We were able to find over 20 signs of animal life in each group! This helped us discuss the bosque- what lives here and why?

benthic
A hellgrammite discovered by our students.

A trip to the river isn’t complete without donning waders and exploring the water. This time our students were introduced to kick seine nets. We found quite a few benthic macroinvertebrates, including dobson fly larva (see photo), midges, and caddis. We discussed what these bugs mean for water quality. The next time we visit Santo Domingo, we will test water quality and compare our results to the survey of benthic macroinvertebrates!

Christy

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