Bats exiting a cave at Armendaris Ranch
New Mexico Nature Conservancy
Habitat for about a million bats will be protected from human impacts through a deal between a nonprofit and the federal government.
About 315,000 acres of southern New Mexico land owned by billionaire media tycoon Ted Turner were protected from development in a partnership between the U.S. Department of Defense and New Mexico Land Conservancy.
The deal saw a conservation easement added to Armendaris Ranch, owned by Turner, due to perceived cultural significance and biological diversity on the land in Sierra and Socorro counties.
The ranch land supports more than 500 vertebrate species, per a report from the Land Conservancy, including multiple listed for federal and state protections.
It also contains the Fra Cristobal Mountain Range, home to 230 desert bighorn sheep, and lava fields that include the Jornada cave system that houses bats of multiple species.
I love the area around Socorro anyway. This will give me another excuse to wander down that way. I’m presuming some sort of public access is part of this deal – if it doesn’t already exist.