MNN Galleries

Carrizo Plain: Exploring 'the Serengeti of the West'

By: Jaymi Heimbuch on May 13, 2013, 2:26 p.m.
A coyote on the Carrizo Plain

Photo: Jaymi Heimbuch

10 of 19

Of predator and prey

A delicate predator-prey balance exists in the Carrizo Plain National Monument. Coyotes, foxes, snakes and raptors rely on the abundance of smaller birds, ground squirrels and other rodents. The rodents and birds rely on the abundance of insects and plant life, and these in turn rely on annual rain fall. In years of little rain, such as this year, population numbers of many species will likely be reduced.