San Diego Management & Monitoring Program

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Orcutt's birds-beak Dicranostegia orcuttiana

Goal: Maintain or enhance existing Orcutt's bird's-beak occurrences and establish new occurrences, as needed, to ensure multiple conserved occurrences with self sustaining populations to increase resilience to environmental and demographic stochasticity, maintain genetic diversity, and ensure persistence over the long term (>100 years) in coastal sage scrub vegetation communities.

Regional NFO 2017 SL


Management units: 1, 3

In 2017, complete the study begun in 2016 to characterize the population genetic structure, gene flow, and genetic diversity for Orcutt's bird's-beak occurrences (see occurrence table). The study will determine if there is evidence of mixed ploidy levels within or among occurrences; evaluate vulnerability of occurrences to genetic drift and loss of genetic diversity; assess the level of gene flow among occurrences; identify if there are signatures of genetic bottlenecks or low genetic diversity in occurrences that have undergone recent reductions; and look for evidence of local population adaptation. Based on the results of the genetic analyses, management recommendations will include whether common garden and reciprocal transplantations are necessary before proceeding with population enhancement or restoration and will provide specific recommendations for collecting, bulking and distributing seed to enhance existing occurrences or establish new occurrences.
Action Statement Action status Projects
RES-1 Use BMPs to collect plant material for genetic samples at Orcutt's bird's-beak occurrences in the MSPA. In progress Population Genetic Analysis of 6 Rare Plant Species in San Diego County
RES-2 Hold a workshop of scientists, rare plant experts, and land managers to develop management recommendations based upon the results of genetic analyses. In progress
RES-3 Evaluate the overall long-term genetic trajectory for Orcutt's bird's-beak. In progress
RES-4 Submit project metadata, genetic datasets and analyses, and report with management recommendations to the MSP Web Portal. In progress
Criteria Deadline year
Genetic Study with Management Recommendations Completed in 2017 2021
Code Obj. code Statement
DICORC-6 MGT-PRP-SBPL In 2020, begin preparing an Orcutt's bird's-beak section in the MSP Seed Collection, Banking and Bulking Plan that incorporates best science and management practices (Wall 2009, KEW 2016) to preserve genetic diversity and rescue occurrences in case of catastrophic disturbance. The plan should include recommendations from 2017-2019 seed collection and bulking efforts conducted by San Diego Zoo's Institute for Conservation Research and from the 2016-2017 genetic study to collect and store seeds over the long term at a permanent, established conservation seed bank (e.g., Institute for Conservation Research Native Plant Seed Bank, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden Seed Conservation Program) and for providing a source of seeds for management purposes. The plan should include recommendations for: collecting and storing seeds for conservation banking; management oriented research; rescuing occurrences after catastrophic disturbances; and seed bulking and out-planting to augment extant occurrences or to establish new occurrences with consideration of genetic implications for population sustainability.
DICORC-8 MGT-PRP-MGTPL In 2020, begin preparing an Orcutt's bird's-beak section in the MSP Rare Plant Management Plan that prioritizes management actions to maintain large occurrences and expand at least 3 small occurrences on Conserved Lands (see occurrence table) based upon an assessment of data on occurrence status, habitat and threats. Prepare management recommendations for re-establishment of historic occurrences or establishment of new occurrences if determined to be necessary for gene flow and for long term persistence. Minimum criteria for enhancement are to reduce invasive annual nonnative plants and thatch to less than 20% absolute cover within the occurrence