ICF International (ICF) conducted a baseline biological inventory study at the Santa Margarita Preserve (Preserve) that included the following: (1) vegetation surveys with habitat community mapping, rare plant, and California Invasive Plant Council (Cal-IPC) invasive plant species mapping components, (2) butterfly surveys, (3) herpetofauna surveys including pitfall arrays, (4) ornithological surveys including diurnal point counts and nocturnal surveys, and (5) mammal surveys including small mammal trapping, camera stations for medium to large mammals, and bat surveys.
This report summarizes all survey methodologies and data collected during the 2011 survey period (April through October).
The Preserve includes approximately 210 acres1 and consists of 13 plant alliances or associations. The vegetation communities on-site are dominated by high quality Diegan coastal sage scrub, scrub oak chaparral, and southern willow scrub, but contain a large area of poison hemlock along the banks of Santa Margarita River. Two in a half miles of multi-use trails are located on the eastern portion of the Preserve. To the north the trails connect to the Fallbrook Public Utility Districts trails.
The current survey effort documented 340 species within the Preserve. Specifically, the surveys detected 214 plant species and 126 wildlife species. Of these species, two (2) plants are considered special status and will also be covered by the Draft North County Multiple Species Conservation Project (Draft North County MSCP); 20 special-status wildlife species were detected during the surveys of which seven (7) are proposed to be covered by the Draft North County MSCP.