San Diego Management & Monitoring Program


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Coastal cactus wren Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus sandiegensis

Goal: Protect, enhance, and restore suitable cactus scrub habitat for coastal cactus wrens to increase effective population size in each genetic cluster at a short term sustainable level (e.g. 50-100 wrens), rehabilitate habitat destroyed by wildfire, improve habitat quality to maintain populations during drought, enhance connectivity within and between genetic clusters to increase genetic diversity and rescue small populations, and manage anthropogenic predation risk to ensure the long term persistence (>100 years) of cactus wrens on Conserved Lands in the MSPA.

regional and/or local PRE 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 SO

MGT-IMP-NUR CAMBRU-6

Management units: 2, 3, 4, 6

From 2017-2021, continue operation of the North San Diego County Cactus Nursery and support a South San Diego County Cactus Nursery to supply cactus to land managers to enhance, restore and create coastal cactus wren habitat. Grow cactus pads, segments and entire plants sufficient for restoration projects to expand and enhance cactus scrub habitat and as a source of plants for immediate habitat rehabilitation following severe wildfire.
Action Statement Action status Projects
IMP-1 Implement BMPs when harvesting and growing cactus at a nursery in preparation for transplant into natural lands for cactus restoration projects and to provide an emergency source of cactus following wildfire. some occurrences are in progress North County Cactus Nursery and Coastal Cactus Wren Habitat Restoration (2015-2018)
IMP-2 Grow and supply cactus pads, segments, and entire plants from locally harvested native cactus with a composition of species reflecting what naturally occurs in each geographic area. The North County Cactus Nursery should cactus to projects in MUs 6 and 8 and those areas in MU 4 dominated by prickly pear cactus. The South County Cactus Nursery should supply cactus to MUs 2 and 3 and to those areas in MU 4 dominated by coast cholla. The amount of cactus produced will be determined periodically based upon: management recommendations from the 2015 South San Diego County Coastal Cactus Wren Habitat Conservation and Management Plan; from ICR's Restoration Analyses for the San Pasqual Valley and Lake Hodges; an evaluation of planned and ongoing cactus restoration projects; and an assessment of cactus needed to be kept in reserve for future post-fire rehabilitation efforts. some occurrences are in progress North County Cactus Nursery and Coastal Cactus Wren Habitat Restoration (2015-2018)
IMP-3 Submit project metadata, nursery plans, and reports with information on harvesting, growing and distributing cactus for restoration projects to the MSP Web Portal. some occurrences are in progress North County Cactus Nursery and Coastal Cactus Wren Habitat Restoration (2015-2018)
Criteria Deadline year
Cactus Nurseries Established in North and South San Diego County to Provide Sufficient Cactus for Restoration and PostFire Rehabilitation 2021
Code Obj. code Statement
CAMBRU-1 MGT-IMP-MGTPL From 2017 through 2021, continue implementing high priority management actions to: expand coastal cactus wren populations; rehabilitate habitat destroyed in the 2003 Cedar and 2007 Harris wildfires; improve connectivity within and between the Otay and San Diego/El Cajon genetic clusters (see occurrence table); and manage high risk of anthropogenic predation of adults and nestlings. These priority management actions are identified in the South San Diego County Coastal Cactus Wren Habitat Conservation and Management Plan prepared in 2015.
CAMBRU-4 MON-RES-SPEC From 2017 to 2019, continue the Coastal Cactus Wren Demography, Vegetation and Arthropod Study begun in 2015 to investigate relationships between habitat quality and wren reproduction, dispersal and survival in the Otay and San Diego/El Cajon genetic clusters (see occurrence table). Habitat quality is measured at the territory scale and characterized by vegetation attributes, arthropod community composition, nestling diet, and potential availability of arthropod prey based on plant associations. Use the results to develop specific restoration recommendations to enhance habitat suitability and food resources important to cactus wren reproduction and survival.
CAMBRU-7 MGT-IMP-IEX In 2017-2021, continue supporting restoration of cactus scrub based upon ICR's Restoration Analyses for the San Pasqual Valley/Lake Hodges coastal cactus wren genetic cluster (see occurrence table) to: rehabilitate cactus scrub destroyed or degraded by the 2007 Witch Fire; to expand occurrences, particularly adjacent to Lake Hodges; to improve connectivity within the genetic cluster; and as needed, to manage high risk of anthropogenic predation of adults and nestlings.
CAMBRU-11 MGT-IMP-FMGT For at least the first 3 years following a wildfire, implement management actions identified by postfire monitoring as necessary to protect and rehabilitate high quality cactus scrub to allow for recovery of coastal cactus wren occurrences affected by the wildfire.