San Diego Management & Monitoring Program


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2010 Biological Monitoring Report For The Barnett Ranch Preserve (Monitoring Year 2009) report

The County of San Diego's Barnett Ranch Preserve (Preserve) is part of the South and North County Multiple Species Conservation Programs (MSCP) and managed by the County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) pursuant to management and monitoring guidelines identified in the South County MSCP and in the Barnett Ranch Preserve Area Specific Management Directives (ASMD). A baseline monitoring study conducted between 2001 and 2003 collected biological data on the Preserve. However, the Cedar Fire in 2003 burned the entire Preserve, effectively changing short term habitat conditions. This report details results of the monitoring surveys conducted in 2009, and provides analysis and conclusions relative to habitat conditions and specific-specific management recommendations. MSCP monitoring guidelines are currently being updated, revised and developed. Regional monitoring approaches and specific habitat monitoring protocols are being studied by researchers of San Diego State University (SDSU); animal monitoring protocols are being drafted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the latter of which is also researching specific monitoring protocols for sensitive plants. In lieu of the availability of preserve-specific monitoring protocols, monitoring methods for the 2009 surveys either used established protocols or draft regional MSCP monitoring protocols adapted for preserve-level monitoring. The following monitoring surveys were performed in 2009: vegetation communities mapping, general wildlife, habitat monitoring, herpetological pitfall array, and wildlife corridor/movement surveys. The Preserve consists mainly of non-native grassland habitats in the center of the Preserve, which were historically influenced by grazing. Chaparral habitats are also well represented and seem to be recovering from the effects of the 2003 Cedar Fire, although vegetation community transitions and chaparral ecotones are unusually frequent on the Preserve. However, coastal sage scrub, which has historically covered large portions on the site, seems to be receding, possibly due to the effects of several wildfires that have burned the site. Results from habitat monitoring surveys suggest that type conversion from scrub habitats to non-native grasslands seem to be occurring, most likely as a result of the 2003 Cedar Fire. In addition, the Preserve's oak woodlands were also significantly affected by t

2016 American Badger Research in Western San Diego County, 2015 report

Lead author: Cheryl Brehme
Badgers (Taxidea taxus) are wide-ranging mid-sized predators associated with grassland and upland habitats. Their large home ranges, low densities, and low fecundity make them particularly vulnerable to habitat fragmentation and road mortality. The American badger is a covered species under the San Diego Multiple Species Conservation Plan (MSCP) and has been identified by the San Diego Monitoring and Management Program (SDMMP) Connectivity Monitoring Strategic Plan as a target species for monitoring regional-scale functional connectivity of upland and grassland habitats and is considered to be at risk of loss from the SDMMP Management Strategic Plan Area (MSPA). In 2015, we continued studies of the spatial and temporal use of habitats by the American badger by conducting monthly field sign and infrared (IR) camera surveys across seven focal sites in the County where we previously documented substantial and/or repeated badger activity; Volcan Mountain Ecological Reserve (ER), Santa Ysabel ER, Ramona Grasslands Preserve, Barnett Ranch Preserve, Marron Valley Cornerstone Lands, Rancho Guejito (privately owned), and the upper San Diego River and El Capitan Grande Reservation. Our objective was to determine if badgers use these areas annually and if so, to better document the duration and season(s) of activity.