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1991 Impacts of the October 1993 Laguna Canyon Fire on California gnatcatchers and cactus wrens book/conf proceeding chapter

Lead author: David Bontrager

1991 Impacts of the October 1993 Laguna Canyon Fire on California gnatcatchers and cactus wrens book/conf proceeding chapter

Lead author: David Bontrager

1991 Impacts of the October 1993 Laguna Canyon Fire on California gnatcatchers and cactus wrens book/conf proceeding chapter

Lead author: David Bontrager

LOCAL GEOGRAPHIES OF THE COASTAL CACTUS WREN AND THE COASTAL CALIFORNIA GNATCATCHER ON MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON CALIFORNIA dissertation/thesis

Lead author: Jennifer Vaughn
The coastal cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus couesi) is a California Species of Special Concern and the coastal California gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica californica) is a federally listed threatened species. Both are target species under California’s Natural Communities Conservation Program. Habitat loss is the driving force for population decline of both species. This study examines these target species on part of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California (approximately 41, 118 hectares in area). The purpose of this research is to delineate the local geography for each species and to demonstrate a geographic approach to avian conservation. This study defines the local geography as a combination of the landscape characteristics, specific habitat requirements, and the identification of core habitat areas for both species. Landscape characteristics refer to the composition and spatial configuration of the vegetation on the Base. Landscape characteristics have been obtained through landscape metric calculations. Specific habitat requirements refer to the habitat features that shape the spatial distribution of both species. Habitat requirements have been obtained through habitat suitability analysis and species distribution modeling. Core habitat areas reflect the landscape characteristics and the habitat features that sustain both avian populations. Lastly, core habitat areas have been identified via kernel density estimation and prioritized by a set of detailed criteria based on requirements for both species on the Base. This study provides information regarding habitat requirements of both species and overall landscape characteristics on the Base, which will aid in conservation and management of these species. On a broad scale, this research supports the regional conservation effort in southern California for the coastal cactus wren and the coastal California gnatcatcher.

Habitat conservation plan implementation: keeping promises for adaptive management within a No Surprises policy dissertation/thesis

Lead author: Bernice Smith
Adaptive management is an approach to problem solving that acknowledges uncertainty. Adaptive management involves a systematic and rigorous process of learning from the outcomes of management actions, accommodating change and improving management. Plans, policies or management strategies influenced by new information and learning, are modified. This study examines the implementation of adaptive management for endangered and threatened species covered in Habitat Conservation Plans (HCP). Introduced in 1982 as an amendment to the Endangered Species Act (ESA), Habitat Conservation Plans are negotiated agreements that mitigate the incidental “take” (killing, harming) of endangered and threatened species during a development or resource extraction project. However, scholars found the scientific basis of approved HCPs to be inadequate and the efficacy of prescribed mitigation measures untested implying the need for adaptive management during implementation. This case study evaluation investigates HCP landowner compliance and progress within the parameters of the federal 1994 “No Surprises” policy. That policy limits landowner liability and responsibility for additional conservation action due to failed mitigation measures during HCP implementation. “No Surprises” assumes we can predict all the consequences of implementing a HCP. The policy seems to work against the objectives of adaptive management to improve scientific knowledge and modify action. The cases include the Central Cascades HCP implemented in the Central Cascades of Washington and the Orange Central Coastal County HCP implemented within a nature reserve in Orange County, California. The study assesses the strengths and weaknesses of adaptive management implementation in protecting endangered species and their habitat, and 2) recommends mid-course corrections for improving adaptive management before HCP maturity.

The cactus wren in southern california: haplotype comparisons among coastal and inland populations dissertation/thesis

Lead author: Matthew Teutimez
The Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus: Troglodytidae), a highly sedentary, nonmigratory bird is distributed among cactus-dominated habitats of the southwest United States and Mexico, including coastal Southern California. The coastal populations are waning and conservation efforts have been enacted to slow the decline of the coastal populations. A paucity of genetic information related to the Cactus Wren has led this study to test for genetic differentiation between coastal and inland birds. This study examined two regions of mtDNA sequences for haplotype variation in 136 individuals in 18 populations from Southern California, Arizona, Texas, and Mexico. There were seven haplotypes for CytB, seven for ND2, and nine for a coastal subset of ND2. There was a significant relationship between genetic and geographical distance within the coastal populations but no significant genetic differentiation between coastal and inland desert Cactus Wren found in this study.

Nest site selection of cactus wrens in the Chino Hills dissertation/thesis

Lead author: Kelli Flaagan

A phylogeographic approach to management of coastal California cactus wrens dissertation/thesis

Lead author: Lori Eggert

2015 Genetic Isolation of Coastal Cactus Wren Follows Habitat Fragmentation Patterns in Southern California fact sheet

Lead author: K. R. Barr

A Summary of Cactus Wren & Monitoring Reproduction Papers fact sheet

Lead author: P.D. Vickery
Abstract- A new method of measuring reproductive success is proposed that uses a composite of breeding-behavior observations (for behaviors that reflect different stages in the reproductive cycle) as an index of fitness. This reproductive index does not rely on discovery of nests, but is comprehensive in that it includes information on all monitored territories. The reproductive index was applied to three co-occurring emberizine sparrows, two of which required special care because of their regional rarity. Ranks derived from this reproductive index were used to distinguish territories of birds of known high success (i.e., those that fledged young in at least one brood) from territories of birds with known low success (unpaired males), and were compared with findings for “spot-mapped” territories. Principal components analyses of habitat measurements for these territory types revealed a similar pattern for all three species: spot-mapped territories overlapped broadly with nonterritory (unoccupied) plots, whereas high-success territories formed a discrete isolated cluster within the spot-map matrix. Univariate analyses revealed that high success territories were described by 15 vegetation features that differed (p <.01) from nonterritory values, whereas in spot mapped territories, only 8 vegetation variables differed and in low success territories only 2 differed. The ability to distinguish high success territories allowed us to identify a greater number of habitat features that were correlated with reproductive success. If we had relied on spot mapping method, we would have been unable to identify many of these important habitat features. Yet the ability to make such discriminations is likely to be critical in the management of threatened species.

2022 Recent Declines in Genetic Diversity with Limited Dispersal Among Coastal Cactus Wren Populations in San Diego County, California journal article

Lead author: Amy Vandergast
Habitat loss and fragmentation can lead to smaller and more isolated populations and reduce genetic diversity and evolutionary potential. Conservation programs can benefit from including monitoring of genetic factors in fragmented populations to help inform restoration and management. We assessed genetic diversity and structure among four major populations of the Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) in San Diego County in 2011–2012 and again in 2017–2019, using 22 microsatellite loci. We found a significant decline in heterozygosity in one population (San Pasqual) and a decline in allelic richness and effective population size in another (Sweetwater). Genetic diversity in the remaining two populations was not significantly different over time. Local diversity declined despite evidence of dispersal among some populations. Approximately 12% of genetically determined family groups (parents, offspring, siblings) included one or more members sampled in different territories with distances ranging from 0.2 to 10 km. All but one inferred dispersal events occurred within the same genetic population. Population structure remained relatively stable, although genetic differentiation tended to increase in the later sampling period. Simulations suggest that at currently estimated effective sizes, populations of Cactus Wrens will continue to lose genetic diversity for many generations, even if gene flow among them is enhanced. However, the rate of loss of heterozygosity could be reduced with increased gene flow. Habitat restoration may help bolster local population sizes and allelic richness over the long term, whereas translocation efforts from source populations outside of San Diego may be needed to restore genetic diversity in the short term.

2016 Site fidelity of a coastal cactus wren on the Palos Verdes Peninsula journal article

Lead author: Ann Dalkey

2015 Predicting the impact of fire on a vulnerable multi-species community using a dynamic vegetation model journal article

Lead author: Erin Conlisk
Conservation management under human-induced changes to disturbance requires tools that can balancethe needs of multiple species with different life histories and habitat requirements. Despite this urgentconservation need, landscape management typically focuses on single species and rarely includes theinfluence of disturbance-dependent vegetation transitions on multiple target species. In this paper, wedescribe a simulation model that achieves these goals, ranking possible fire management strategies fromthe viewpoint of protecting endangered coastal Southern Californian wildlife. The model involves thedirect and indirect effects of fire on four animal species of conservation concern (coastal cactus wren,California gnatcatcher, Stephens’ kangaroo rat, and Pacific pocket mouse) and five vegetation types (grass,coastal sage scrub, obligate seeding and resprouting chaparral, resprouting-only chaparral, and wood-lands). Using historical fire records for the region, we predicted spatially-explicit fire frequencies andignition probabilities. For these predictions, we simulated the location and extent of fires. Combining firehistory and vegetation transition data from 1933 to 2003, we specified vegetation change probabilitiesunder simulated fire regimes. Fire occurrence in a location altered habitat suitability, directly for each ofthe animal species and indirectly by changing the vegetative community. For some open-habitat species,such as the Stephens’ kangaroo rat and Pacific pocket mouse, fairly frequent fire is required to reduce thedensity of invasive grasses and herbs. For other species, such as the coastal cactus wren and Californiagnatcatcher, frequent fire destroys the mature coastal sage scrub on which these species depend. Themodel includes a management component, allowing us to rank fire management actions. Over a 50-yeartime horizon, we find that populations of California gnatcatchers and Pacific pocket mouse are highlyvariable, and the pocket mouse is particularly prone to decline, despite prescribed burns designed toboost population viability. California gnatcatchers were also likely to be extirpated in the model, withrelatively small extirpation risks for the cactus wren and Stephens’ kangaroo rat. Despite conflictingrequirements with respect to fire and differing life history traits among the four animals, we identified abeneficial strategy for our four target species, namely, controlling fire in coastal sage scrub.

1957 Life history of the cactus wren. Part I: winter and pre-nesting behavior journal article

Lead author: Anders Anderson

2001 Extinction and colonization of birds on habitat islands journal article

Lead author: Kevin Crooks
doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2008.03705.x

2008 Current status of the cactus wren in northwestern Baja California journal article

Lead author: Kevin Clark

1990 The taxonomy, distribution, and status of coastal California cactus wrens journal article

Lead author: Amadeo Rea

2004 The Role of Subspecies in Obscuring Avian Biological Diversity and Misleading Conservation Policy journal article

Lead author: Robert Zink
Subspecies are often used in ways that require their evolutionary independence, for example as proxies for units of conservation. Mitochondrial DNA sequence data reveal that 97% of continentally distributed avian subspecies lack the population genetic structure indicative of a distinct evolutionary unit. Subspecies considered threatened or endangered, some of which have been targets of expensive restoration efforts, also generally lack genetic distinctiveness. Although sequence data show that species include 1.9 histori- cally significant units on average, these units are not reflected by current subspecies nomenclature. Yet, it is these unnamed units and not named subspecies that should play a major role in guiding conservation efforts and in identifying biological diversity. Thus, a massive reorganization of classifications is required so that the lowest ranks, be they species or subspecies, reflect evolutionary diversity. Until such reorganiza- tion is accomplished, the subspecies rank will continue to hinder progress in taxonomy, evolutionary studies and especially conservation.

1922 Cactus Wren Nests journal article

Lead author: Robert Woods
Summer and Winter Uses of Cactus Wren Nests

2008 Congruent population structure inferred from dispersal behaviour and intensive genetic surveys of the threatened Florida scrub-jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) journal article

Lead author: Aurelie Coulon
The delimitation of populations, defined as groups of individuals linked by gene flow, is possible by the analysis of genetic markers and also by spatial models based on dispersal probabilities across a landscape. We combined these two complimentary methods to define the spatial pattern of genetic structure among remaining populations of the threatened Florida scrub-jay, a species for which dispersal ability is unusually well-characterized. The range-wide population was intensively censused in the 1990s, and a metapopulation model defined population boundaries based on predicted dispersal-mediated demographic connectivity. We subjected genotypes from more than 1000 individual jays screened at 20 microsatellite loci to two Bayesian clustering methods. We describe a consensus method for identifying common features across many replicated clustering runs. Ten genetically differentiated groups exist across the present-day range of the Florida scrub-jay. These groups are largely consistent with the dispersal-defined metapopulations, which assume very limited dispersal ability. Some genetic groups comprise more than one metapopulation, likely because these genetically similar metapopulations were sundered only recently by habitat alteration. The combined reconstructions of population structure based on genetics and dispersal-mediated demographic connectivity provide a robust depiction of the current genetic and demographic organization of this species, reflecting past and present levels of dispersal among occupied habitat patches. The differentiation of populations into 10 genetic groups adds urgency to management efforts aimed at preserving what remains of genetic variation in this dwindling species, by maintaining viable populations of all genetically differentiated and geographically isolated populations.

2000 Ecological restoration of coastal sage scrub and its potential role in habitat conservation plans journal article

Lead author: Peter Bowler

1902 Large set of cactus wren eggs journal article

Lead author: Wilson Hanna

1904 The status of the southern california cactus wren journal article

Lead author: Harry Swarth

2008 San Diego cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus sandiegensis) journal article

Lead author: Philip Unitt

1923 Some geographical notes on the cactus wren journal article

Lead author: Griffing Bancroft

1921 The Bryant cactus wren not a bird of California journal article

Lead author: Joeseph Grinnell

2003 Alternative causes of edge-abundance relationships in birds and small mammals of California coastal sage scrub journal article

Lead author: William Kristan
Changes in the distribution and abundance of bird and small mammal species at urban-wildland edges can be caused by different factors. Edges can affect populations directly if animals respond behaviorally to the edge itself or if proximity to edge directly affects demographic vital rates (an ‘‘ecotonal’’ effect). Alternatively, urban edges can indirectly affect populations if edges alter the characteristics of the adjacent wildland vegetation, which in turn prompts a response to the altered habitat (a ‘‘matrix’’ or ‘‘habitat’’ effect). We studied edge effects of birds and small mammals in southern Californian coastal sage scrub, and assessed whether edge effects were attributable to direct behavioral responses to edges or to animal responses to changes in habitat at edges. Vegetation species composition and structure varied with distance from edge, but the differences varied among study sites. Because vegetation characteristics were correlated with distance from edge, responses to habitat were explored by using independently-derived models of habitat associations to calibrate vegetation measurements to the habitat affinities of each animal species. Of sixteen species examined, five bird and one small mammal species responded to edge independently of habitat features, and thus habitat restoration at edges is expected to be an ineffective conservation measure for these species. Two additional species of birds and one small mammal responded to habitat gradients that coincided with distance from edge, such that the effect of edge on these species was expressed via potentially reversible habitat degradation.

1904 Unusual nesting site of the cactus wren journal article

Lead author: Frank Daggett

2014 Using spatially-explicit population models to evaluate habitat restoration plans for the San Diego cactus wren journal article

Lead author: Erin Conlisk

1904 Cactus wrens journal article

Lead author: Frank Stephens

1946 Geographic variation in the eggs of cactus wrens in lower California journal article

Lead author: Griffing Bancroft

1886 Birds of Ventura County, California journal article

Lead author: Barton Evermann

2001 COMPARATIVE PHYLOGEOGRAPHY OF SOME ARIDLAND BIRD SPECIES journal article

Lead author: Robert Zink
We compared mitochondrial DNA sequences for six species distributed across the aridlands of North America to document phylogeographic patterns and assess levels of congru- ence. The Curve-billed Thrasher (Toxostoma curvirostre) and Canyon Towhee (Pipilo fuscus) show genetic divisions between the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts, whereas the Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus), Black-tailed Gnatcatcher (Polioptila melanura), and Verdin (Auriparus flaviceps) do not. Most likely, species without phylogeographic structure only recently colonized their entire current range. Therefore, although these species are today part of a wide- spread avifauna, species’ distributions were historically different from today. In Baja California, the Cactus Wren and the Verdin show phylogeographic breaks at 288–308N, consistent with a division previously described in the LeConte’s Thrasher (Toxostoma lecontei) and in some mem- bers of the herpetofauna. These genetic divisions were likely caused by isolation resulting from a mid-peninsular seaway that existed one million years ago. Hence, these species appear to have been broadly sympatric for at least one million years. In contrast, the California Gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica) lacks such a phylogeographic division, and apparently only recently expanded into the northern part of its current range. Thus, not all species in Baja California have had similar histories, although further sampling might reveal a general pattern. Comparative phylogeography therefore provides an indirect method of evaluating the long-term stability of faunas via assessment of levels of phylogeographic congruence, and can show whether particular species are likely to have had a long period of co-association.

2014 A population census of the cactus wren in Ventura County, California journal article

Lead author: Dan Cooper
The Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) is a polytypic species widespread in the southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico. Though closer in plumage characteristics to the desert subspecies anthonyi, populations resident in coastal sage scrub on the coastal slope of Ventura County and Los Angeles County occupy an ecological niche more similar to that of the more southerly subspecies sandiegensis. Because of fragmentation of habitat associated with urbanization, the populations on southern California’s coastal slope are almost entirely isolated from those of the deserts, and apparently from each other. They are declining precipitously for reasons not entirely understood but certainly related to loss, fragmentation, and degradation of suitable habitat. In 2012, we organized a volunteer effort to map the entire population in Ventura County and found 111 active, accessible territories with at least one adult or a fresh nest. Additional areas to which we did not have access could raise this total number to 166 territories county-wide. While historically the species occurred somewhat more widely in the eastern portion of the county, all active territories now appear to be restricted to a narrow band of cactus-rich scrub at the far western edge of the Santa Monica Mountains and Simi Hills, from Point Mugu northeast through Thousand Oaks to the west side of Simi Valley, roughly tracking the distribution of large patches of prickly-pear (Opuntia spp.) and coast cholla (Cylindropuntia prolifera).

2020 Coastal Cactus Wren Working Group Regional Goals, Objectives, and Strategies other


2010 Attachment A - Scope of Work Coastal Cactus Wren Habitat Mapping and Estimation of Population Occupancy Following the 2007 Wildfires other


Conservation Management of the Coastal Cactus Wren Priority Information Needs other

Goals: Synthesize available information to assess current status and trends. Identify information gaps most relevant to informing strategies for effective conservation management Identify priority monitoring and research questions; secure collaborations and catalyze investigations. Identify and prioritize options for management. Focus habitat protection efforts and initiate controlled experimentation in restoration.

1997 Habitat Requirements of the Coastal Cactus Wren in Eastern Los Angeles County other

Lead author: Travis Wheeler
Vegetation transects performed at four separate occupied sites in eastern Los Angeles County indicated a relationship between cactus height and nesting desirability and a potential relationship between cactus patch size and corresponding nest height

2008 Guidelines for Cactus Salvage and Propagation other

Lead author: Mark Dodero
Our local cholla and prickly pear cactus are generally easy to grow, but reducing the amount of handling and not potting them up makes budgets go much farther. Just putting out cuttings in the fall-winter rainy season and letting the rains do the work is the cheapest way to get good results. Based on our experience, small one stem cutting takes about 6-8 years to grow to around three feet without supplemental water, but growth will vary depending on soil conditions and annual rainfall patterns. If you do direct planting of cuttings and then water them at the intended habitat site, they will grow even faster.

2012 Applied Plant Ecology Newsletter other


2011 Coastal cactus wren restoration and monitoring update powerpoint presentation

Lead author: Bryan Endress

2008 Why coastal cactus wrens are of greater conservation concern than California gnatcatchers powerpoint presentation

Lead author: Jonathan Atwood

2011 Genetic structure of coastal cactus wren populations in San Diego and Orange counties powerpoint presentation

Lead author: Barbara Kus

2008 Ecology, species account, and distribution of coastal cactus wrens in southern California powerpoint presentation

Lead author: Christopher Solek

2011 The coastal cactus wren in Los Angeles county powerpoint presentation

Lead author: Dan Cooper

2014 Nest habitat characteristics for the coastal cactus wren powerpoint presentation

Lead author: Angelita Ashbacher

2008 Cactus Wrens of the San Dieguito Watershed: Surviving Man and Fires powerpoint presentation

Lead author: Kenneth Weaver
Presentation from 2008 Coastal Cactus Wren Conservation Symposium on the status and distribution of coastal cactus wren in northern inland San Diego County

2009 2009 cactus wren surveys, orange and los angeles counties powerpoint presentation

Lead author: Robb Hamilton

2011 Declining cactus wren populations: what we are learning from monitoring reproduction, dispersal and survival powerpoint presentation

Lead author: Kris Preston

2008 Maritime succulent scrub restoration and management for cactus wrens powerpoint presentation

Lead author: Mark Dodero

2008 Cactus wrens of the Puente-Chino Hills: 1998-2008 powerpoint presentation

Lead author: Dan Cooper

2008 Response of cactus wrens and cactus habitat to wildfires at Upper Chiquita Canyon Conservation Easement powerpoint presentation

Lead author: Paul Galvin

2019 Cactus Wren habitat restoration on San Diego National Wildlife Refuge powerpoint presentation

Lead author: John Martin

2011 Cactus scrub restoration powerpoint presentation

Lead author: Margot Griswold

Hodges Reservoir-Bernardo Bay Cactus Wren Habitat Restoration Grant Project powerpoint presentation

Lead author: John Barone
Presentation for the annual SDMMP luncheon/meeting.

2011 Western Riverside and southwestern San Bernardino County cactus wren distribution powerpoint presentation

Lead author: Melody Aimar
cactus wren distribution

Cactus wren habitat restoration on San Diego National Wildlife Refuge powerpoint presentation

Lead author: John Martin

2008 an overview of cactus wrens in Los Angeles and Ventura counties powerpoint presentation

Lead author: Kimball Garrett

2013 Assessing the importance of arthropod abundance, community composition, and habitat structure as determinants of habitat quality for cactus wren powerpoint presentation

Lead author: Riley Pratt

2009 Restoration Guidelines for "Coastal" Cactus Wrens powerpoint presentation

Lead author: Robert Hamilton

2011 Restoration of nesting habitat for cactus wren powerpoint presentation

Lead author: Megan Lulow

2008 Cactus wren subspecies powerpoint presentation

Lead author: Philip Unitt

2008 2006-2007 cactus wren study NROC powerpoint presentation

Lead author: Robb Hamilton

2012 2012 cactus wren survey, Ventura County powerpoint presentation

Lead author: Robb Hamilton

Translocation of the cactus wren: a tool for management? powerpoint presentation

Lead author: Milan Mitrovich

Opuntia littorals propagation protocol for Coastal Cactus Wren Restoration protocol

Protocol was generated via submission to the native Plant network Propagation Protocol Database

Genetic connectivity among coastal cactus wren populations in San Diego county protocol


Opuntia littorals propagation protocol for Coastal Cactus Wren Restoration protocol

Protocol was generated via submission to the native Plant network Propagation Protocol Database

Cactus Wren Occupancy Protocol protocol

Lead author: Clark Winchell
Survey protocol for mapping cactus scrub and documenting occupancy by coastal cactus wren in San Diego County

2010 Orange County mapping data sheet and volunteer methods CACW protocol

Lead author: Robb Hamilton

2007 NROC cactus wren study methods - draft protocol

Lead author: Robb Hamilton

2009 Orange County cactus wren survey, data sheet for Round 1 protocol

Lead author: Robb Hamilton

Field methods for 2009 cactus wren study protocol

Lead author: Robb Hamilton
In 2006 and 2007, I developed methods in conjunction with Milan Mitrovich, then of the Nature Reserve of Orange County (NROC), and Will Miller of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) to map and characterize cactus resources in and around the NROC’s coastal reserve, and to survey for Cactus Wrens in areas judged to comprise potentially suitable nesting habitat. For the current volunteer-based effort, playback of digital recordings of Cactus Wrens will not be allowed by the California Department of Fish & Game, so the methods have been modified accordingly. In addition to mapping the boundaries of cactus scrub, these methods identify different types of scrub and document habitat composition at each site, thereby allowing reserve managers to build models of habitat suitability for the Cactus Wren by correlating the species’ presence with relevant habitat features.

2009 LA Volunteer data sheet Rounds 1-8 protocol

Lead author: Robb Hamilton

2012 volunteer methods for CACW mapping and surveys protocol

Lead author: Robb Hamilton

2009 LA and Orange County cactus wren study protocols protocol

Lead author: Robb Hamilton

2009 LA County cactus wren survey, data sheet for Round 1 protocol

Lead author: Robb Hamilton

2010/11 Cactus Mapping Protocol for the San Diego Multiple Species Conservation Program protocol supplement

Lead author: Clark Winchell
Protocol outlines methods for mapping the location and size of cactus scrub patches within the San Diego MSCP

Cactus Wren Survey Protocol 2011 protocol supplement

Lead author: Clark Winchell

2013 1.07. Response of coastal cactus wren to wildfires recording

Lead author: Kris Preston
This 2013 Wildland Fire Workshop focused on Southern California and landscape level fires occurring in the last decade. This workshop brought together land managers, researchers, and fire management personnel to continue the discussions on the topic of wildland fire impacts to at risk natural resources. The purpose of the workshop was to present, collaborate, and plan wildland fire-related research, management, responses, and future recovery as it applies to the “at risk” natural resources of San Diego County.

2021 Recording - July 2021 SDMMP Management and Monitoring Coordination Meeting recording

Lead author: Barbara Kus
Recording for the July 28, 2021 SDMMP Mgmt. and Mon. Coordination Meeting. Dr. Barbara Kus - "Distribution and Demography of Coastal Cactus Wrens in southern San Diego County"

2014 Coastal Cactus Wren & California Gnatcatcher Habitat Restoration Project, Phase III Year 1 Report report

In collaboration with Groundwork San Diego-Chollas Creek (Groundwork) and the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), AECOM was selected to enhance and restore existing and potential coastal cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) and coastal California gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica californica) habitat in Encanto and Radio Canyons. Groundwork is an independent, not-for-profit environmental organization that works within San Diego’s Chollas Creek Watershed to improve the environment, economy, and quality of life in the area through local community projects. Over the past several years, Groundwork has been an integral part of the restoration and enhancement of the Chollas Creek area. The project was funded by SANDAG under the Transnet Environmental Mitigation Program (EMP).

2017 Coastal Cactus Wren Citizen Scientist Monitoring 2017 report

Lead author: Ann Dalkey
Results of 2017 Coastal Cactus Wren surveys performed by citizen scientists for the Verdes Peninsula Nature Preserve

2011 Coastal Cactus Wren & California Gnatcatcher Habitat Restoration Project Encanto and Radio Canyons San Diego, CA report

BACKGROUND In collaboration with Groundwork San Diego and the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), AECOM was selected to enhance and restore existing and potential coastal cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) and California gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica californica) habitat in Encanto and Radio Canyons. Groundwork San Diego-Chollas Creek (Groundwork) is an independent, not-for-profit, environmental business that works within San Diego's Chollas Creek Watershed to improve the environment, economy, and quality of life in the area through local community projects. Over the past several years, Groundwork has been an integral part of the restoration and enhancement of the Chollas Creek area. The project was funded by SANDAG under the Transnet Environmental Mitigation Program (EMP). This project was identified as an opportunity to create and enhance habitat for the coastal cactus wren (Photo 1) and California gnatcatcher and offer a more native landscape for the community surrounding the sites. The habitat enhancement and restoration objectives included removal of nonnative plant cover and planting of approximately 20,000 new cholla cactus (Cylindropuntia prolifera), which is preferred nesting habitat for the coastal cactus wren. The California gnatcatcher would also benefit from the improved habitat, since this species is also present in the project area and uses maritime succulent scrub habitat in conjunction with coastal sage scrub habitat. Enhancement and expansion of areas with existing occupied gnatcatcher and cactus wren habitats improves and expands habitat for both species, improving the chances for the long-term health of local and regional populations. This project also offered a unique opportunity for students and residents within the surrounding canyon communities to play an important role in project planning and implementing of the coastal cactus wren. AECOM and Groundwork collaborated in the execution of project tasks. AECOM led the site mapping, habitat restoration, monitoring, maintenance, and reporting tasks, and Groundwork led the educational, community involvement, and publicity aspects of the project. The project is located in the community of Encanto in southern San Diego, California, north of Market Street between Euclid Avenue and Merlin Drive (Figures 1 and 2). The total area of both canyons combined is 73.62 acres. Encanto Canyon consists of 37.24 acres and Radio Canyon consists of 36

2015 Coastal Cactus Wren & California Gnatcatcher Habitat Restoration Project, Phase III Year 2 Report report

In collaboration with Groundwork San Diego-Chollas Creek (Groundwork) and the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), AECOM was selected to enhance and restore existing and potential coastal cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) and coastal California gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica californica) habitat in Encanto and Radio Canyons. Groundwork is an independent, not-for-profit environmental organization that works within San Diego’s Chollas Creek Watershed to improve the environment, economy, and quality of life in the area through local community projects. Over the past several years, Groundwork has been an integral part of the restoration and enhancement of the Chollas Creek area. The project was funded by SANDAG under the Transnet Environmental Mitigation Program (EMP).

2013 Coastal Cactus Wren & California Gnatcatcher Habitat Restoration Project, Phase II Encanto and Radio Canyons report


2011 Coastal Cactus Wren & California Gnatcatcher Habitat Restoration Project report


2010 Coastal cactus wren habitat enhancement in San Pasqual Valley report

Lead author: Bryan Endress

2018 North County Cactus Nursery and Coastal Cactus Wren Habitat Restoration Final Report report

Lead author: Katherine Heineman
The primary goal of this three-year project was to support the restoration and recovery of coastal cactus wren (CACW) populations in the San Pasqual Valley/Lake Hodges region including locations identified under coordination with the South San Diego County Coastal Cactus Wren Conservation Implementation Plan. In pursuit of this goal, the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research aspired to accomplish two tasks: 1) establish and maintain a cactus nursery to supply cacti for habitat restoration to land managers in North County and 2) control invasive species and restore habitat in potential cactus wren nesting habitat.

2022 Distribution and Demography of Coastal Cactus Wrens (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) in Southern San Diego County, California—2021 Data Summary report

Lead author: Suellen Lynn
We surveyed for coastal Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) in 378 established plots in southern San Diego County in 2021, encompassing 3 genetic clusters (Otay, Lake Jennings, and Sweetwater/Encanto). Two surveys were completed at each plot between March 1 and July 31. Cactus Wrens were detected in 130 plots (34 percent of plots), remaining virtually the same as the percentage of plots occupied in 2020 (35 percent). There were 113 Cactus Wren territories detected across all survey plots in 2021, an increase from 109 in 2020. At least 86 percent of Cactus Wren territories were occupied by pairs, and 50 fledglings were observed in 2021. We observed 48 color-banded Cactus Wrens in 2021, 44 of which we could identify to individual. Adults of known age ranged from 2 to at least 7 years old. Adult Cactus Wrens moved, on average, 0.1 kilometers (maximum 0.5 kilometers) from their 2020 territories to their 2021 territories. No known-identity Cactus Wrens moved between genetic clusters from 2020 to 2021. Vegetation at Cactus Wren plots typically was dominated by coastal sage scrub shrubs, such as California sagebrush (Artemisia californica), California buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum), lemonadeberry (Rhus integrifolia), and San Diego sunflower (Bahiopsis laciniata). Twenty-nine percent of plots contained blue elderberry (Sambucus nigra ssp. caerulea), and Cactus Wrens occupied proportionally more plots with elderberry than plots without elderberry. Very little dead or unhealthy cactus was observed within all survey plots, and the plots that were occupied by Cactus Wrens were likely to contain more healthy cactus than plots that were not occupied by Cactus Wrens. Thirteen percent of plots had 5 percent or less of the cactus crowded or overtopped by vines and shrubs. Although in 2020, Cactus Wrens occupied proportionally more plots with 5 percent or less of cactus crowded or overtopped by vines and shrubs, this pattern was not found in 2021. Non-native annual cover was 5 percent or less at 29 percent of plots and, unlike in 2020, Cactus Wrens appeared to occupy proportionally more plots with less non-native annual cover than plots with more than 5-percent annual cover.

2015 South San Diego County Coastal Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) Habitat Conservation and Management Plan report

Lead author: Kris Preston
This document has been prepared to help fulfill MSP Goals and Objectives established for management of the Coastal Cactus Wren in MU3. This plan identifies and prioritizes management and restoration needs for the cactus wren across the entire MU3, and also assesses connectivity to core habitat areas on Conserved Lands within the San Diego/El Cajon cactus wren genetic cluster in MUs 2 and 4 to further ensure persistence of the cactus wren in MU3 over the next 100 years.

2022 Distribution and Demography of Coastal Cactus Wrens in Southern California, 2015–19 report

Lead author: Suellen Lynn
Surveys and monitoring for the coastal Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) were completed in San Diego County between March 2015 and July 2019. A total of 383 plots were surveyed across 3 genetic clusters (Otay, Lake Jennings, and Sweetwater/Encanto). From 2015 to 2019, 317 plots were surveyed 8 times (twice per year in 2015, 2017–19). Additional plots were added in later years as wrens were discovered in new locations. We found differences in the proportion of plots occupied in the genetic clusters, with a lower proportion of plots occupied in the Otay cluster than in the Lake Jennings and Sweetwater/Encanto clusters in all years. Plot occupancy increased each year in the Otay and Sweetwater/Encanto clusters but not in the Lake Jennings cluster. The number of Cactus Wren territories increased from 2015 through 2018, and then decreased in 2019 in all three genetic clusters.

2012 Genetic Connectivity in the Coastal Cactus Wren report

Lead author: Kelly Barr
The coastal cactus wren (Camphylorynchus brunneicapillus sandiegensis) is one of numerous species in decline in San Diego County. Limited to prickly pear (Opuntia.sp.) and cholla (Cylindropuntia sp.) cacti for nesting, the resident songbird's persistence in the county relies upon the existence of such habitat. Urbanization, agriculture, and fire have reduced cactus in San Diego County, leaving only a remnant of the once abundant habitat for the coastal cactus wren (Shuford & Gardali 2008). Large aggregations of cactus wrens exist in areas where urbanization and agriculture have been excluded, such as on the Fallbrook Naval Weapons Station (NWS), on several sites in San Pasqual Valley, and around both Lake Jennings and the Sweetwater Reservoir. Smaller groups dwell in urban canyons, nature reserves, and otherwise undeveloped areas around the county as well. On the order of 200 known coastal cactus wren territories currently exist on public and otherwise preserved properties in San Diego County, likely representing a major reduction from historical population sizes (Shufard & Gardali 2008).

2013 Final Report for project entitled: Coastal Cactus Wren Habitat Enhancement In San Pasqual Valley report

Lead author: Bryan Endress
The Safari Park Biodiversity Reserve is one of the last remaining strongholds for coastal cactus wrens in San Diego County, and the cactus scrub supports the greatest abundance of cactus wrens in San Pasqual Valley. The 2007 Witch Creek fire damaged much of the cactus scrub at the Safari Park and throughout the San Pasqual Valley. In 2010, we were awarded a TransNet grant to support and enhance the survival of coastal cactus wrens in the Valley using a strategic, multi-faceted approach. Specifically we proposed to: (1) construct a cactus propagation and salvage center that will serve as a long-term resource providing native cacti materials for restoration projects throughout the North County; (2) collect/propagate over 1,200 prickly-pear cacti per year for restoration in the San Pasqual Valley (including the Safari Park Biodiversity Reserve and partner-managed MSCP lands); (3) enhance 45 acres within the Safari Park Biodiversity Reserve through cacti enrichment plantings; (4) monitor establishment and growth of planted cacti; and monitor cactus wren abundance, distribution, and habitat use in relation to habitat characteristics and enhancement efforts.

2018 North County Cactus Nursery and Coastal Cactus wren Habitat Restoration Final Report report

Lead author: Katherine Heineman
The primary goal of this three-year project was to support the restoration and recovery of coastal cactus wren (CACW) populations in the San Pasqual Valley/Lake Hodges region including locations identified under coordination with the South San Diego County Coastal Cactus Wren Conservation Implementation Plan. In pursuit of this goal, the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research aspired to accomplish two tasks: 1) establish and maintain a cactus nursery to supply cacti for habitat restoration to land managers in North County and 2) control invasive species and restore habitat in potential cactus wren nesting habitat.

2015 Salt Creek Coastal Cactus Wren Habitat Restoration Project 5th Annual Monitoring Report, 2015 report

Merkel & Associates, Inc conducted the fifth annual monitoring assessment for the Salt Creek Coastal Cactus Wren Habitat Restoration Project. Quantitative monitoring was performed on May 8, 2014 (bird survey) and September 2, 2014 (vegetation survey). Information from qualitative assessments of the site was obtained in April, July, and October of 2014 and is provided with this report (Appendix 3). Avian point counts and vegetation coverage/cactus height was acquired and analyzed for 6 preestablished monitoring stations. These monitoring stations include two restored areas (Stations 1 and 2), two areas that have had previous records of coastal cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) occupation (Stations 3 and 4), and two areas that were assumed to be suitable for cactus wren occupation but no wrens had been observed prior to this study (Stations 5 and 6). The purpose of this report is to provide information in regards to changes in habitat and avian use over time (approximately 5 years) at each of the monitoring stations. This report serves as the final annual report of a 5-year monitoring program.

2020 Final Report: Navajo and Chollas Radio Canyon Coastal Cactus Wren Habitat Restoration Project report

Navajo Canyon Open Space and Chollas Radio Canyon Open Space both have recent recorded occurrences of Coastal Cactus Wren. The primary goal is to create, enhance and expand existing Coastal Cactus Wren (CACW) habitat and reduce the threat of wildfire and invasive plant conversion by replacing areas of invasive flashy fuels with native cactus in City of SD Chollas Radio Canyon and Navajo Canyon Open Spaces. The main objectives to reach these goals are 1) to perform brush removal and invasive weed control within newly proposed and existing CACW sites, and 2) harvest and plant cactus cuttings from existing mature native prickly pear and coast cholla to create more CACW habitat. Urban Corps crews will be hired to perform initial and ongoing brush and weed clearing so that City staff can perform herbicide applications to control the weeds in the CACW habitat. Urban Corps labor will also be used to harvest cactus cuttings from existing specimens onsite at both locations and install them in the CACW habitat enhancement sites. Urban Corps crews will also be used to install erosion control materials. City staff will oversee and manage the project. This project will build on past projects performed by AECOM and Urban Corps that worked to create and enhance Coastal Cactus Wren habitat in Chollas Radio Canyon Open Space.

2014 Year 5, 2nd Quarterly Progress Report for the Salt Creek Coastal Cactus Wren Habitat Enhancement/Restoration Project report

Lead author: Kyle Ince

2013 NROC: coastal cactus wren dispersal and survival surveys, genetics and parasite sampling, and arthropod foraging ecology in 2012 report

Lead author: Dana Kamada
Southern California supports both coastal and desert populations of the Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus). In coastal regions, Cactus Wrens are year round residents of coastal sage scrub plant communities that contain cholla and/or prickly‐pear cactus tall enough (>1 m) to support and protect nests. Mature stands of cactus are patchily distributed within coastal sage scrub leading to a naturally patchy distribution of Cactus Wren in coastal southern California. Despite this uneven distribution, Cactus Wrens were historically widespread and abundant. In the last few decades, coastal populations have shown dramatic declines and are of great conservation concern (Sauer et al. 1999; Proudfoot et al. 2000; Solek and Szijj 2004; Mitrovich and Hamilton 2007). This report presents the preliminary results of studies conducted in 2012 investigating Cactus Wren genetics and parasite load, foraging ecology, and banded bird resighting surveys, to follow‐up on the 2009 to 2011 Cactus Wren reproduction, dispersal and survival study, in Orange County’s Central and Coastal Natural Community Conservation Plan/Habitat Conservation Plan (NCCP/HCP).

2002 California gnatcatcher and coastal cactus wren monitoring report for the San Joaquin Hills burn area 2001 report


2011 Post-burn restoration of nesting habitat for the coastal cactus wren in the Orange County Central Reserve: final report report

Lead author: Megan Lulow

1997 1997 California gnatcatcher and coastal cactus wren monitoring report for the San Joaquin Hills burn area report


2010 Quarterlyl progress report for the Salt Creek coastal cactus wren habitat enhancement/restoration project report


2013 Nature Reserve of Orange County: Coastal Cactus Wren Dispersal and Survival Surveys, Genetics & Parasite Sampling, and Arthropod Foraging Ecology in 2012 report

Lead author: Dana Kamada
Southern California supports both coastal and desert populations of the Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus). In coastal regions, Cactus Wrens are year round residents of coastal sage scrub plant communities that contain cholla and/or prickly‐pear cactus tall enough (>1 m) to support and protect nests. Mature stands of cactus are patchily distributed within coastal sage scrub leading to a naturally patchy distribution of Cactus Wren in coastal southern California. Despite this uneven distribution, Cactus Wrens were historically widespread and abundant. In the last few decades, coastal populations have shown dramatic declines and are of great conservation concern.

1996 1995 San Joaquin Hills burn area California gnatcatcher and coastal cactus wren study report


2014 Nature Reserve of Orange County: coastal cactus wren survey and monitoring for post-translocation and arthropod foraging studies in 2013 report

Lead author: Dana Kamada

2000 California gnatcatcher and coastal cactus wren monitoring report for the San Joaquin Hills burn area 2000 report


2014 Salt Creek Coastal Cactus Wren Habitat Restoration Project 4th Annual Monitoring Report report


2006 Results of baseline surveys for the coastal California gnatcatcher and the coastal cactus wren at the Bernardo Mountain Preserve report

Lead author: William E. Haas

2016 San Diego Association of Governments Coastal Cactus Wren Habitat Enhancement/ Restoration Project Final Report report


1993 Population viability analysis for the coastal cactus wren within the MSCP study area report

Lead author: Patrick Mock

2015 Year 3 Final Annual Report for the Otay Ranch Coastal Cactus Wren Habitat Restoration and Enhancement Program (SANDAG Grant Number 5001970; RECON Number 6649) report

Lead author: Mark Dodero

2012 NROC: monitoring coastal cactus wren reproduction, dispersal and survival, 2009-2011 report

Lead author: Kris Preston

2014 Final Report for project entitled: "Development of Coastal Cactus Wren Restoration and Management Plan in San Pasqual Valley” Grant #5001966 report

Lead author: Bryan Endress
Develop and begin initial implementation of a subwatershed-level management plan to restore and manage native habitat to support a stable, resilient Coastal Cactus Wren population in the San Pasqual Valley/Lake Hodges region of the San Dieguito Watershed. To accomplish this goal, activities have been divided into a series of Tasks and Phases to be implemented over a two-year period.

1999 California gnatcatcher and coastal cactus wren monitoring report for the San Joaquin Hills burn area 1996-1998 report


2008 Central Reserve Cactus Wren Habitat Assessment and Survey report

A study to determine the status of the coastal cactus wren was conducted in the Coastal Reserve in 2006. The purpose of this study was to determine the status of the wren in the Central Reserve using the same methodology so that a baseline condition for cactus wren could be established reserve-wide. All of the cactus resources in the Central Reserve were mapped in the spring of 2008, and two rounds of focused surveys for the cactus wren were conducted in cactus scrub judged mature enough to support nesting pairs. Unanticipated fires burned approximately 75% of the Central Reserve in 2007, so methods were developed to collect data that would enable an evaluation of the impact of the fires on the cactus resources within those areas. A total of 1,855 acres of cactus scrub was mapped in the Central Reserve. Of that total, 1,420 acres sustained Low, Moderate, or High levels of damage during the fires, 75% of which (1,059 acres) was severely burned and is not suitable for supporting nesting cactus wrens. Six hundred eighty three (683) acres were judged suitable for occupancy by cactus wrens and surveyed. Within the 683 acres of cactus scrub judged suitable for occupancy by cactus wrens, 263 sites were delineated and surveyed for adult cactus wrens. Fifty eight (58) sites were found to be occupied during the first round of surveys, and 56 sites were found to be occupied during the second round of surveys. These occupied sites represent an estimated 67 territories, a decline of 82.1% since 374 territories were estimated in 2004.

2011 Salt Creek Cactus Wren Habitat Restoration Project:2nd Annual Monitoring Report, 2011 report

Merkel & Associates, Inc. has conducted the second annual monitoring assessment for the Salt Creek Coastal Cactus Wren Habitat Restoration Project. Quantitative monitoring was performed on May 10, 2011 (bird survey) and August 17, 2011 (vegetation survey). Information from qualitative assessments of the site was obtained in April, July, and October of 2011 and is provided with this report.

2021 Final Report for the Rice Canyon Sensitive Plant Species Management Project (SANDAG Grant Number 5005508; RECON Number 9429) report

Lead author: Mark Dodero
The primary goal of the Rice Canyon Sensitive Plant Species Management Project (project) was to reduce the threat from invasive stinknet (Oncosiphon pilulifer) and illegal trespassing to sensitive plant species. Reducing these threats was a benefit to sensitive animal species that occupy Rice Canyon as well. Sensitive plant species that were the focus of the project include Otay tarplant (Deinandra conjugens), San Diego thornmint (Acanthomintha ilicifolia), and Orcutt’s bird’s-beak (Dicranostegia orcuttiiana). Sensitive animal species that also occur in Rice Canyon include coastal California gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica californica) and coastal cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus sandiegensis) among other Multiple Species Conservation Plan-covered species.

2010 Quarterly Report for ICR Cactus wren enhancement project in San Pasqual, 2010 report

Lead author: Bryan Endress
Quarterly report for project entitled: "Coastal Cactus Wren Habitat Enhancement in San Pasqual Valley"

2013 Salt Creek Cactus Wren Habitat Restoration Project: 3rd Annual Monitoring Report, 2013 report

Merkel & Associates, Inc. conducted the third annual monitoring assessment for the Salt Creek Coastal Cactus Wren Habitat Restoration Project. Quantitative monitoring was performed on May 10, 2012 (bird survey) and October 5, 2012 (vegetation survey). Information from qualitative assessments of the site was obtained in April, July, and October of 2012 and is provided with this report.

2018 Final Report - City of Chula Vista Salt Creek Cactus Wren Shrub Thinning Project report

Through the support of the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), the City of Chula Vista was able to complete an 18-month land management program focused on increasing the quality of habitat and improving connectivity for the coastal cactus wren (Management and Monitoring Strategic Plan [MSP] category SO; significant occurrence at risk of loss from MSP) along Salt Creek through shrub thinning of approximately 6 acres within suitable wren habitat. This program addressed the immediate needs of cactus wren within Salt Creek where loss and degradation of existing wren habitat has occurred due to vegetation succession processes, an increase of invasive plants, unauthorized off-road vehicle use, and drought.

2011 Salt Creek Cactus Wren Habitat Restoration Project: 1st Annual Monitoring Report, 2011 report

Merkel & Associates, Inc. conducted the first annual monitoring assessment for the Salt Creek Coastal Cactus Wren Habitat Restoration Project. Quantitative monitoring was performed on May 3, May 4, September 9, and September 10, 2010. Information from qualitative assessments of the site was obtained in June, August, and October of 2010 and is also provided in this report.

2010 Final report for Post-Fire Coastal Sage and Cactus Scrub Restoration Projects report

Lead author: Jason Lopez
The After the Fires Funds 2007 were utilized to provide immediate benefits to wildlife by expanding habitat adjacent to areas that did not burn and contained one or both of the restoration project's species of focus; California Gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica)and Coastal Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus sandiegensis). Work on this project was guided by the goal of providing immediate benefits to these birds because the fate of the San Dieguito River Park's ("Park") populations will have regionwide implications.

2009 CENTRAL RESERVE CACTUS WREN HABITAT ASSESSMENT AND SURVEY 2008 report

A study to determine the status of the coastal cactus wren was conducted in the Coastal Reserve in 2006. The purpose of this study was to determine the status of the wren in the Central Reserve using the same methodology so that a baseline condition for cactus wren could be established reserve-wide. All of the cactus resources in the Central Reserve were mapped in the spring of 2008, and two rounds of focused surveys for the cactus wren were conducted in cactus scrub judged mature enough to support nesting pairs. Unanticipated fires burned approximately 75% of the Central Reserve in 2007, so methods were developed to collect data that would enable an evaluation of the impact of the fires on the cactus resources within those areas. A total of 1,855 acres of cactus scrub was mapped in the Central Reserve. Of that total, 1,420 acres sustained Low, Moderate, or High levels of damage during the fires, 75% of which (1,059 acres) was severely burned and is not suitable for supporting nesting cactus wrens. Six hundred eighty three (683) acres were judged suitable for occupancy by cactus wrens and surveyed. Within the 683 acres of cactus scrub judged suitable for occupancy by cactus wrens, 263 sites were delineated and surveyed for adult cactus wrens. Fifty eight (58) sites were found to be occupied during the first round of surveys, and 56 sites were found to be occupied during the second round of surveys. These occupied sites represent an estimated 67 territories, a decline of 82.1% since 374 territories were estimated in 2004.

2011 Quarterly Report for ICR Cactus wren enhancement project in San Pasqual, 2011 report

Quarterly report for project entitled: "Coastal Cactus Wren Habitat Enhancement in San Pasqual Valley"

2017 Otay River Valley Cactus Wren Fence Project Final Report report

The short-term Otay River Valley Cactus Wren Fence Project reduced threats to coastal cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus sandiegensis; CACW) habitat by providing access control via fence and sign installation for the 3-year Otay River Valley Cactus Wren project (SANDAG Grant Number 5004730). The overarching goal of the Cactus Wren project is to increase the amount of suitable habitat and improve connectivity for the coastal cactus wren along the Otay River Valley through restoration and enhancement of degraded habitat areas. CACW is a Management Strategic Plan (MSP) Category SO species (significant occurrence(s) at risk of loss from MSP area). This short-term project fulfills the immediate need for access control in the CACW restoration area by deterring off-road vehicles, bikers, equestrians, and other trails users from entering the 3-year project site.

2009 Central reserve cactus wren habitat assessment and survey report

A study to determine the status of the coastal cactus wren was conducted in the Coastal Reserve in 2006. The purpose of this study was to determine the status of the wren in the Central Reserve using the same methodology so that a baseline condition for cactus wren could be established reserve-wide. All of the cactus resources in the Central Reserve were mapped in the spring of 2008, and two rounds of focused surveys for the cactus wren were conducted in cactus scrub judged mature enough to support nesting pairs. Unanticipated fires burned approximately 75% of the Central Reserve in 2007, so methods were developed to collect data that would enable an evaluation of the impact of the fires on the cactus resources within those areas. A total of 1,855 acres of cactus scrub was mapped in the Central Reserve. Of that total, 1,420 acres sustained Low, Moderate, or High levels of damage during the fires, 75% of which (1,059 acres) was severely burned and is not suitable for supporting nesting cactus wrens. Six hundred eighty three (683) acres were judged suitable for occupancy by cactus wrens and surveyed. Within the 683 acres of cactus scrub judged suitable for occupancy by cactus wrens, 263 sites were delineated and surveyed for adult cactus wrens. Fifty eight (58) sites were found to be occupied during the first round of surveys, and 56 sites were found to be occupied during the second round of surveys. These occupied sites represent an estimated 67 territories, a decline of 82.1% since 374 territories were estimated in 2004.

2008 2008 San Dieguito River Park avian survey report


2018 Results of 2018 cactus wren and California gnatcatcher Bernardo Mountain surveys report

Lead author: Clark Mahrdt

2009 DRAFT EXISTING CONDITIONS REPORT for the OTAY RANCH PRESERVE report

The Otay Ranch Preserve (Preserve) consists of approximately 525 acres in the San Ysidro Mountains and approximately 826 acres in Salt Creek in the City of Chula Vista (City) in San Diego County. Dudek biologists have performed the following surveys: vegetation mapping in May and June 2008, focused botanical surveys in spring 2009, general butterfly surveys in 2008, focused surveys for quino checkerspot butterfly (Euphydryas editha quino) in spring 2009, focused surveys for coastal California gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica californica) in spring 2008, avian point count surveys in summer/fall 2008, and large and medium mammal surveys in spring 2009. Herpetology trap surveys are currently in process. This report documents the results of Dudek's field work.

2018 Final Report: Bernardo Bay Cactus Wren Habitat Restoration report

The Bernardo Bay cactus restoration project around Hodges Reservoir included the planting of native cactus on 20 acre clusters surrounding the hills of the reservoir to enhance and re-create the cactus habitat that once existed under pre-Witch Fire conditions. This project would allow the endangered Cactus wren to work its way back from eastern populations along the San Dieguito River (SDgR) to the west. Additionally, the cactus will help stabilize the slopes around Hodges Reservoir and close off unauthorized trails that will also reduce erosion and maintain higher water quality in the reservoir

2017 Western Riverside County MSHCP biological monitoring program report


1995 California gnatcatcher and cactus wren studies in the San Joaquin hills report


2014 Historical Population Structure and Genetic Diversity in the Cactus Wren in Coastal Southern California report

Lead author: Kelly Barr
In this study, we mined museum collections for genetic material collected prior to widespread urban development over the second half of the 20th century in coastal southern California. We analyzed population structure and genetic diversity in these historical populations of cactus wrens using a suite of microsatellites previously developed for the species (Barr et al. 2012). Old and degraded sources of DNA can be difficult to amplify and present high levels of allelic dropout and null alleles, both of which can confound genetic structure analyses. 4 With a large number of available loci, we were able to rigorously limit analyses to only those with reliable and consistent amplification. We also utilized analyses that explicitly account for the presence of allelic dropout. With these data, we assessed historical population structure and genetic diversity in cactus wrens in coastal southern California and compared these to contemporary patterns.

2008 Report on biological surveys for upper Chiquita Canyon conservation easement report


2010 Increasing reproduction of cactus wrens through the strateic placement of artificial nesting sites in the San Joaquin Hills report

Lead author: Robb Hamilton
Consistent with our proposal dated March 25, 2008, the Irvine Ranch Conservancy and consulting biologist Robert Hamilton have built, installed, and monitored several experimental artificial nesting substrates for the Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus; CACW) in the Irvine Ranch Wildlands in central and coastal Orange County, California, within the larger Nature Reserve of Orange County. The wren is one of two avian ―focal species‖ of the Natural Communities Conservation Plan (NCCP) for coastal sage scrub in southern California, and its populations in both the central and coastal NCCP reserves are of special conservation concern due to rapidly declining numbers, reduced availability of favorable habitat with adequate nesting sites related to the wildfires of the past 16 years, and increasingly isolated sub-populations.

2018 Year 3 Annual Report for the Otay River Valley Cactus Wren EMP Grant (SANDAG Grant Number 5004730; RECON Number 8116) report


2004 California Partners in Flight coastal shrub and chaparral bird conervation plan report

Lead author: Christopher Solek

1996 California gnatcatchers, cactus wrens, and conservation of coastal sage scrub on the Palos Verdes Peninsula report

Lead author: Jonathan Atwood
Progress Report #4

2018 Palos Verdes Nature Preserve Survey for the California gnatcatcher and the cactus wren report

Lead author: Dan Cooper

2011 NROC cactus wren habitat linkage restoration project report

Lead author: Kris Preston

1994 Palos Verdes Peninsula gnatcatcher and cactus wren study report

Lead author: Jonathan Atwood

2015 2014 Bernardo Mountain avian surveys, San Dieguito River Park report

Lead author: Clark Mahrdt
The 2014 avian survey of the Bernardo Mountain Preserve, San Dieguito River Park, San Diego County, California determined the point locations, territories, and breeding status of two rare songbirds, the California Gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica californica) and the Coastal Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus cousei). Eleven field surveys conducted between 14 March and 21 June detected a total of twelve gnatcatcher and three Cactus Wren territories within the preserve. This compares favorably with previous surveys conducted after the Witch Fire of 2007 despite the continuation of a three-year drought. Our observations show that the gnatcatcher, in particular, has expanded into revegetated areas. Cactus Wrens, with their more specific requirements, are still largely confined to cactus scrub that did not burn in 2007 as replanted cactus has yet to reach a height suitable for nest-building. Other vertebrates noted during the survey include sixty-six additional species of birds, four species of mammals, and five species of reptiles.

2009 2008 Surveys Cactus Wren and California Gnatcatchers San Dieguito River Valley, San Diego County report

Lead author: Robert Hamilton
The San Dieguito River Valley (SDRV), consisting of the San Pasqual Valley and Lake Hodges, is one of the most significant natural open spaces in San Diego County. This area supports a major recreational amenity, the San Dieguito River Park (SDRP), as well as habi-tat for several species covered and permitted by the Multiple Species Conservation Pro-gram (MSCP). The 2007 Witch Fire burned a substantial portion of the SDRV, including more than 60% of the SDRP. The extremely high natural resource and recreational values in this area emphasize the need and urgency for fire recovery efforts.

1994 1993 California gnatcatcher and cactus wren studies in the San Joaquin Hills report


1995 California gnatcatchers, cactus wrens, and conservation of coastal sage scrub on the Palos Verdes Peninsula report

Lead author: Jonathan Atwood

2006 Report on California gnatcatcher and cactus wren 2005 surveys at the UCI Ecological preserve report

The University of California at Irvine (UCI) manages the UCI Ecological Preserve, a 60 acre area of natural habitat located on the main UCI campus. The Preserve has been subject to ongoing avian surveys and ecological restoration efforts for over a decade. In 2002, UCI contracted Harmsworth Associates to conduct surveys for the California gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica californica) and cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) to determine the number and location of breeding pairs of each species at the Preserve. This report summarizes the results of surveys for gnatcatcher and cactus wren for the 2005 season.

2006 Results of the 2006 cactus wren translocation study in Orange County report

Lead author: Dana Kamada
Effective management of coastal populations of the Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) is considered one of the great challenges in bird conservation for southern California. Loss and fragmentation of habitat due to development, agricultural displacement, and high frequency wildfire, have led to major declines in this species throughout large portions of the region. Even on protected conservation lands populations are vulnerable to local extinction, and the need for active management of this species is becoming increasingly obvious. In a single field season, we captured, color-banded, and relocated 10 cactus wrens in order to study the biological and behavioral response of adult and juvenile wrens to translocation (Figure 1). In this study, we report on the first completed phase of postrelease monitoring and use the collected information to evaluate whether translocation might be an effective tool for management of isolated populations of cactus wrens in coastal southern California.

1995 Movement and dispersal of California gnatcatchers and cactus wrens in the San Joaquin Hills, Orange County, California report

Lead author: David Bontrager

2010 Habitat Restoration Summary 2010 report


2012 performance monitoring report report

Lead author: Margot Griswold

2013 Mission Trails Regional Park NRMP report


2016 Year 5 Annual Report Lakeside Linkage Preserve Cactus Wren Habitat Restoration report

This report provides a progress summary of the ongoing habitat restoration project for the San Diego cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus sandiegensis) within the central property of the Lakeside Linkage Preserve (Preserve) located in the City of Lakeside, San Diego County, California (Figures 1 and 2) and provides details on the fifth year of the five-year post-installation monitoring period (August 1, 2015 through July 31, 2016).

2010 Coastal Cactus Wren Conservation Working Group Meeting Draft Meeting Notes workshop summary

Lead author: Dan Cooper
California Coastal Cactus Wren Working Group Draft Meeting Notes 2010

2008 Coastal Cactus Wren Working Group Goals and Objectives workshop summary

To identify, based on best available science, conservation actions to ensure the persistence of the coastal cactus wren throughout its range (Ventura, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Orange, Riverside, and San Diego Counties). To document the historic and current distribution of coastal cactus wren in southern California, and update this information as new information becomes available. -Use data to inform acquisitions in Riverside MSHCP -Identify occupied habitat for focused conservation/management -Identify areas of suitable habitat for which data is lacking, and conduct surveys of those locations to document presence/absence of coastal cactus wren To identify and implement research actions that will best inform conservation of the species. To develop and implement a standardized long-term monitoring program for the coastal cactus wren range-wide; develop and maintain a regional CACW monitoring database that is readily accessible via the web. Ensure that conservation actions are integrated with established conservation plans that list the cactus wren as a target species.

2008 SDRVC Cactus Scrub Restoration Projects - Summary workshop summary