San Diego Management & Monitoring Program


Data Summary for the 2007 and 2008 Pacific Pond Turtle (Actinemys marmorata) Surveys Conducted in the County of San Diego; Boulder Oaks, Lusardi Creek and Los Penasquitos Canyon

Type: report

Article abstract: The Pacific pond turtle (Actinemys marmorata) is the only native aquatic turtle species in southwestern California. While historically abundant in most major San Diego County drainages: habitat loss, human disturbance, hydrologic alterations, and invasive species have resulted in a significant decrease in Pacific pond turtle populations in San Diego and throughout California (Madden-Smith et al. 2005). Evaluating and addressing these threats is critical for the long-term persistence of Pacific pond turtle populations in San Diego County, and is a focus of the Multiple Species Conservation Program (MSCP), an approved Natural Community Conservation Plan (NCCP) in southern San Diego County. The Pacific pond turtle is a MSCP covered species with an impact avoidance condition. The condition is as follows: "Maintain and manage areas within 1500 feet around known locations within preserve lands for the species. Within this impact avoidance area, human impacts will be minimized, non-native species detrimental to pond turtles will be controlled, and habitat restoration/enhancement measures will be implemented." During a 2002-2003 study conducted by the United States Geological Survey (USGS), 72 sites within the MSCP area were surveyed for Pacific pond turtle presence. Pacific pond turtles were detected at only 5 of these 72 sites (Lake Murray, Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve, Lusardi Creek Preserve Lands, Santee Lakes, and Sycuan Peak Ecological Reserve), only 3 of which had more than one individual (Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve, Lusardi Creek Preserve Lands, and Sycuan Peak Ecological Reserve along the Sweetwater River; Madden-Smith et al. 2005). The surveys conducted by the USGS in 2002-2003, provided valuable information regarding the distribution of Pacific pond turtles, and raised management concerns about their viability. Following the 2002-2003 survey efforts, MSCP managers have sought to assess additional unsurveyed sites, and to prioritize and implement restoration actions to ensure the persistence of western pond turtles within the MSCP Preserve System. The Boulder Oaks Preserve became a part of the MSCP preserve system in 2003 after completion of the 2002-2003 USGS survey and has not been surveyed for Pacific pond turtles. Boulder Oaks Preserve includes three ponds which are potential habitat for Pacific pond turtles. Unlike other sites where restoration actions may be affected by human impacts (e.g., invasive species i

Number of pages: 24

Authors: Brown, Chris; Fisher, Robert N.;

Year: 2008

Prepared for: County of San Diego;

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

Keywords: MSCP; NCCP; Pacific Pond Turtle; southwestern pond turtle;

Species: Southwestern pond turtle