The Pacific pond turtle (Actinemys marmorata) is the only native aquatic turtle species in
southwestern California. While historically abundant in most major San Diego County
drainages: habitat loss, human disturbance, hydrologic alterations, and invasive species have
resulted in a significant decrease in Pacific pond turtle populations in San Diego and throughout
California (Madden-Smith et al. 2005). Evaluating and addressing these threats is critical for the
long-term persistence of Pacific pond turtle populations in San Diego County, and is a focus of
the Multiple Species Conservation Program (MSCP), an approved Natural Community
Conservation Plan (NCCP) in southern San Diego County. The Pacific pond turtle is a MSCP
covered species with an impact avoidance condition. The condition is as follows: "Maintain and
manage areas within 1500 feet around known locations within preserve lands for the species.
Within this impact avoidance area, human impacts will be minimized, non-native species
detrimental to pond turtles will be controlled, and habitat restoration/enhancement measures will
During a 2002-2003 study conducted by the United States Geological Survey (USGS), 72 sites
within the MSCP area were surveyed for Pacific pond turtle presence. Pacific pond turtles were
detected at only 5 of these 72 sites (Lake Murray, Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve, Lusardi
Creek Preserve Lands, Santee Lakes, and Sycuan Peak Ecological Reserve), only 3 of which had
more than one individual (Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve, Lusardi Creek Preserve Lands, and
Sycuan Peak Ecological Reserve along the Sweetwater River; Madden-Smith et al. 2005). The
surveys conducted by the USGS in 2002-2003, provided valuable information regarding the
distribution of Pacific pond turtles, and raised management concerns about their viability.
Following the 2002-2003 survey efforts, MSCP managers have sought to assess additional
unsurveyed sites, and to prioritize and implement restoration actions to ensure the persistence of
western pond turtles within the MSCP Preserve System.
The Boulder Oaks Preserve became a part of the MSCP preserve system in 2003 after
completion of the 2002-2003 USGS survey and has not been surveyed for Pacific pond turtles.
Boulder Oaks Preserve includes three ponds which are potential habitat for Pacific pond turtles.
Unlike other sites where restoration actions may be affected by human impacts (e.g., invasive
Introduction: San Diego thornmint (Acanthomintha ilicifolia) is an endangered plant species found in clay soils within the County of San Diego. It is an annual herb that blooms between April and June. Surveys were conducted by City staff on April 16, 2004 and May 21, 2004 at Otay Lakes (see attached map). Surveys were also conducted by Friends of Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve (Mike Kelly and other volunteers) at Mission Trails Regional Park, Sabre Springs, Black Mountain, and Penasquitos Canyon. Monitoring reports for the volunteer survey effort are attached. The methodology and results of the monitoring are detailed below. The goal of the effort was to continue long-term monitoring of San Diego thornmint under the Multiple Species Conservation Program (MSCP). McMillan Biological Consulting conducted baseline surveys in May 2001 for the Otay Lakes population. Previous surveys have been conducted by MSCP staff, Mike Kelly, and other volunteers in Sabre Springs, Black Mountain, and Penasquitos Canyon. Additional surveys in Penasquitos Canyon and Sabre Springs were also conducted by Ogden Environmental (1993).