Vertebrate Species in progress

Mule Deer Habitat Connectivity

May 11, 2023 - June 30, 2024
Southern mule deer connectivity will focus on improving two major undercrossings in the eastern portion of the San Elijo Lagoon where Escondido Creek flows. These lands are heavily used by Southern mule deer as they move along this important wildlife corridor. The initial restoration site chosen is a 665 square meter (0.16 acre) parcel of land on the edge of the SELER and just south of the bridge undercrossing at Rancho Santa Fe Road. Planting here was strategized as a way to influence Southern Mule Deer to cross Escondido Creek within the creek corridor under the bridge rather than travel into the busy roadway. Nature Collective staff began removing dead black mustard (Brassica nigra) biomass within native vegetation, mostly California sagebrush (Artemisia californica) and mulefat (Baccharis salicifolia). The following day Nature Collective staff planted 90 native trees and shrubs in five-gallon containers along the busy street corner of La Bajada and S Rancho Santa Fe Road to enhance riparian scrub connectivity of the southern mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus fuliginatus). Coast Live Oak (Quercus agrifolia), elderberry (Sambucus nigra), and mulefat (Baccharis salicifolia) were planted on the upper to mid-levels of the slope, while cottonwood (Populus fremontii) and sycamore (Platanus racemosa) were planted at the toe of the slope.
Project Focus

Mule deer

riparian forest & scrub


San Diego Association of Governments

Nature Collective

SDMMP; SDSU Research Foundation

Izzy Santarsieri

Project Protocol