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Amistad National Recreation Area Animals

Home to 22 species of fish, Lake Amistad is also winter refuge for thousands of ducks, geese, coots, herons, ibis, and other shorebirds and waterfowl. The surrounding hills and canyons are inhabited by a unique collection of dessert reptiles, caves full of bats, and play host to dozens of migratory species of warblers, vireos, buntings, grosbeaks, flycatchers, and other songbirds. Several projects in the Recreation Area monitor wildlife in order to understand the interaction between species and their environment. Amistad manages five designated hunting areas, open to dove, quail, and waterfowl, as well as bow hunting of our numerous white tail deer.

Several evenings prior to hunting season, the Natural Resources Division performs deer counts, or "cenci." The deer population densities can be calculated from these counts and is used to monitor the impact of hunting and ensure a healthy deer population is maintained. Another ongoing project has been the banding of birds in the Rio Grande riparian zone. The Natural Resources Division has banded hundreds of birds during summer and late fall in order to study the native and migratory species inhabiting the area. The information obtained by these studies is shared in a national database, and helps researchers determine how bird populations are fluctuating on a national scale. Each fall, Monarch butterflies pass through the Amistad area on their way to wintering sites in Mexico. Park staff participates in a yearly Monarch Watch, and tag approximately 500 Monarchs during migration. The migration information is also returned to a national database for study. ParkNet U.S. Department of the Interior FOIA Privacy Disclaimer FirstGov

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Maine ocean islands provide the only nesting sites for Atlantic puffins in the United States. Eastern Egg Rock in the midcoast region, Seal Island and Matinicus Rock at the mouth of Penobscot Bay, and Machias Seal Island and Petit Manan Island off the downeast coast provide habitat for more than 4,000 puffins each summer.