San Diego Management & Monitoring Program


LOCAL GEOGRAPHIES OF THE COASTAL CACTUS WREN AND THE COASTAL CALIFORNIA GNATCATCHER ON MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON CALIFORNIA

Type: dissertation/thesis

Article abstract: The coastal cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus couesi) is a California Species of Special Concern and the coastal California gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica californica) is a federally listed threatened species. Both are target species under California’s Natural Communities Conservation Program. Habitat loss is the driving force for population decline of both species. This study examines these target species on part of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California (approximately 41, 118 hectares in area). The purpose of this research is to delineate the local geography for each species and to demonstrate a geographic approach to avian conservation. This study defines the local geography as a combination of the landscape characteristics, specific habitat requirements, and the identification of core habitat areas for both species. Landscape characteristics refer to the composition and spatial configuration of the vegetation on the Base. Landscape characteristics have been obtained through landscape metric calculations. Specific habitat requirements refer to the habitat features that shape the spatial distribution of both species. Habitat requirements have been obtained through habitat suitability analysis and species distribution modeling. Core habitat areas reflect the landscape characteristics and the habitat features that sustain both avian populations. Lastly, core habitat areas have been identified via kernel density estimation and prioritized by a set of detailed criteria based on requirements for both species on the Base. This study provides information regarding habitat requirements of both species and overall landscape characteristics on the Base, which will aid in conservation and management of these species. On a broad scale, this research supports the regional conservation effort in southern California for the coastal cactus wren and the coastal California gnatcatcher.

Number of pages: 97

Authors: Vaughn, Jennifer;

Purpose: The purpose of this research is to delineate the local geography for each species and to demonstrate a geographic approach to avian conservation.

Keywords: cactus wren; California gnatcatcher; Coastal Cactus Wren; coastal sage scrub; San Diego County; status of distribution and abundance;

Species: California Gnatcatcher; Coastal cactus wren

Vegetation communities: coastal sage scrub

Projects: