In 2007 the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge began work to restore approximately 30 acres of vernal pool habitat on the former Shinohara parcel. The overall goal of the vernal pool restoration project was to establish healthy vernal pool habitat and associated coastal sage scrub/native grassland where vernal pool and other native flora and fauna are likely to persist. In April 2007, the restoration site was dethatched and more than 60 degraded vernal pool basins were deepened. Weed control was conducted annually in the growing seasons of 2007/2008, 2008/2009, and 2009/2010. One herbicide treatment was completed late in the 2011/2012 growing season. Where native flora was present in vernal pool basins, the basins were hand-weeded; otherwise, weeds were controlled with glyphosate herbicide. The restoration project included a combination of detatching, topographic re-contouring of basins, weed control, planting, and monitoring. In September 2007, 10 underground nest boxes for burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia) were installed on the site. Starting in 2009, the number of owls on site gradually declined, and they have not been known to breed there since 2011. Decline in breeding is attributed to the development of the sage scrub habitat on the site.
Project type: Habitat restoration
Target vegetation: vernal pools and alkali playa
Main implementing entity: San Diego National Wildlife Refuge
Point of contact: Jill Terp
SDMMP lead: Sarah McCutcheon
Study lead: Jill Terp