San Diego Management & Monitoring Program


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2014 Ramona Grasslands Preserves Raptor Surveys Summary Report report

A 3-year raptor study was initiated by the County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) to collect baseline information on eagle and other raptor activity at the Preserve. Raptor foraging surveys and golden eagle nest monitoring was conducted by AECOM at the Preserve from September 2013 through August 2014 on behalf of the County DPR. AECOM worked in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to complete these surveys. This report summarizes the results of Year 1 (September 2013 through August 2014) of the 3-year study. AECOM will continue surveys for Year 2 and Year 3.

2007 Baseline Conditions Report for Ramona Grasslands Preserve San Diego County report

The Ramona Grasslands are located in the Santa Maria Valley, west of the town of Ramona in San Diego County. In 2003 the State Water Resources Control Board awarded a Proposition 13 grant to the County of San Diego for the protection and restoration of a portion of Santa Maria Creek and adjacent ephemeral aquatic habitats in the Ramona Grasslands Preserve (Preserve). The Preserve is comprised of a number of properties that have already been conserved or are publicly owned, properties with conservation agreements pending, and properties targeted for conservation. Additional land is anticipated to be included in the Preserve via landowner dedications as mitigation for future development projects (e.g., portions of Cumming Ranch). The Preserve supports many of the unique biological resource values represented in the greater Preserve, provides a suite of important environmental services for the region, and embodies a rich cultural and historic heritage. As part of the Proposition 13 grant project, a variety of field surveys and monitoring was implemented to characterize baseline conditions of the Preserve to inform future management and monitoring efforts. This Baseline Conditions Report summarizes the results of these surveys and monitoring efforts. Management and monitoring prescriptions are discussed in the Ramona Grasslands Preserve Area Specific Management Directives (CBI 2007).

2007 Baseline Conditions Report for Ramona Grasslands Preserve San Diego County Volume 2-Technical Appendices report

APPENDIX A?Biological Survey Report for the Santa Maria Creek Restoration Project: Stephens? kangaroo rat (Spencer and Montgomery 2007) APPENDIX B?Wintering Raptors of the Cagney Ranch and Surrounding Ramona Grasslands (2003-2006) (Wildlife Research Institute 2007) APPENDIX C?Biological Survey Report for the Ramona Grasslands Preserve (RECON 2005) APPENDIX D?Biological Survey Report for the Santa Maria Creek Restoration Project: riparian birds (Lovio 2007) APPENDIX E?Biological Survey/Monitoring Report for the Santa Maria Creek Restoration Project: arroyo toads (Hollingsworth et al. 2006) APPENDIX F?Invasive Weed Report for the Santa Maria Creek Restoration Project: grassland and riparian invasive weed control efforts and results (Kelly & Associates 2007)

2007 Area Specific Management Directives for Ramona Grasslands Preserve report


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.

2004 Framework Management and Monitoring Plan for Ramona Grasslands Open Space Preserve San Diego County, California report

The Ramona Grasslands host a unique assemblage of resources: ? The southernmost population of the endangered Stephens? kangaroo rat; ? Unique vernal wetlands that support endangered San Diego fairy shrimp and several rare plant species; ? Santa Maria Creek and associated habitats are important for neotropical migrant songbirds and the endangered arroyo toad; and ? A diverse raptor community, including the largest population of wintering ferruginous hawks in San Diego. Oak savannah, riparian woodlands, alkali playas, native perennial grasslands, and rock outcrops contribute to the diversity and ecosystem functions within the grasslands. These resources are imminently threatened by the indirect impacts of urbanization and thus require science-informed monitoring and management to ensure their persistence. The Ramona Grasslands comprise a significant portion of the Santa Maria Creek subbasin of the San Dieguito River watershed. The Santa Maria Creek, which drains the urbanizing community of Ramona, flows westward through the grasslands, then through Bandy Canyon to its confluence with Santa Ysabel Creek. Below the confluence, the San Dieguito River flows through San Pasqual Valley into Lake Hodges, a City of San Diego drinking water reservoir. The creek corridor serves as both a hydrological and habitat linkage for numerous species. It also provides essential ecosystem processes, such as natural filtration of anthropogenic contaminants that may impair downstream water quality. The Ramona Grasslands Preserve functions as a core habitat area within a regional network of existing and anticipated conservation lands. The coastal sage scrub, chaparral, and oak woodlands of the surrounding landscape, together with the grasslands, riparian habitat, and vernal wetlands of the core area, constitute an exceptional concentration of regionally and globally significant resources. That significance is reflected by the near complete overlap of the Preserve area by federal Critical Habitat designations (San Diego fairy shrimp, arroyo toad, and California gnatcatcher).

2004 Framework Management and Monitoring Plan for Ramona Grasslands Open Space Preserve San Diego County report

This framework management and monitoring plan provides guidance to maintain and enhance the conservation values of the Ramona Grasslands Open Space Preserve. The Preserve supports many unique biological resources, provides a suite of important environmental services for the region, and preserves a rich cultural and historic heritage. The Ramona Grasslands Preserve functions as a core habitat area within a regional network of existing and anticipated conservation lands. The coastal sage scrub, chaparral, and oak woodlands of the surrounding landscape, together with the grasslands, riparian habitat, and vernal wetlands of the core area, constitute an exceptional concentration of regionally and globally significant resources. That significance is reflected by the near complete overlap of the Preserve area by federal Critical Habitat designations (San Diego fairy shrimp, arroyo toad, and California gnatcatcher).