Baseline Biodiversity Survey for the Rancho Jamul Ecological Reserve

Type: report

Article abstract: Rancho Jamul Ecological Reserve, a 3,700-acre property previously operated as a cattle ranch, became part of the California Department of Fish and Game reserve system in 1998. Following this acquisition, the U.S. Geological Survey conducted surveys to establish baseline species data and vegetation data layers. Through cooperation with San Diego State University, a vegetation and land cover GIS layer was developed which details the extent and types of vegetation classes found on the reserve. This vegetation mapping established that 15 native and non-native vegetation types, the majority of which had disturbed counterparts, occurred throughout the reserve. Rare plant surveys conducted by McMillan Biological Consulting provided documentation of 131 native and non-native plant species, 18 of which are considered sensitive species. Of these, five plant species detected on the reserve are covered under the Multiple Species Conservation Program. Aquatic surveys reported four native and two non-native amphibian species and six non-native fish species. Herpetofauna pitfall arrays detected four native amphibian species, ten lizard species, and twelve snake species. Twenty-one ant species were recorded using ant pitfall traps co-located at the herpetofauna pitfall arrays. Bird point counts and incidental bird sightings recorded 94 bird species present on or near the study site. Twelve bat species were detected using mist netting, acoustic surveys, and roost site visits. Sherman live traps, combined with herpetofauna pitfall arrays small mammals captures, documented 14 small mammal species present on the reserve. Remotely triggered cameras and track stations were used to document the presence of 11 medium and large bodied mammal species. A total of 150 native vertebrate species and nine non-native vertebrate species were recorded during these surveys. Two herpetofauna species, eight bird species, and two mammal species detected on the reserve are covered under the Multiple Species Conservation Program. Incidental records of the Quino checkerspot butterfly were made onsite during the rare plant surveys, adding this reserve to its known distribution. Summary statistics, discussion, and management recommendations on the flora and fauna of the Rancho Jamul Ecological Reserve are provided in this report.

Number of pages: 135

Authors: Hathaway, Stacie; O'Leary, John; Fisher, Robert N.; Rochester, Carlton; Brehme, Cheryl; Haas, Chris; McMillan, Scott; Mendelsohn, Mark; Stokes, Drew; Pease, K; Brown, Chris; Yang, Brian S.; Ervin, Edward; Warburton, Manna; Madden-Smith, Melanie;

Year: 2002

Prepared for: California Department of Fish and Game; McMillan Biological Consulting; San Diego State University, Department of Geography;

Prepared by: U.S. Geological Survey, Western Ecological Research Center;

Keywords: baseline; biodiversity surveys; herpetofauna pitfall arrays; Rancho Jamul Ecological Reserve; San Diego Multiple Species Conservation Program;