Goal: Maintain, enhance and restore salt marsh vegetation on Conserved Lands in the MSPA that supports or has the potential to support VF species (i.e., wandering skipper, Belding's savannah sparrow) and to incidentally benefit other MSP species (e.g., salt marsh bird's-beak, Ridgway's rail) so that the vegetation community has high ecological integrity, and these species are resilient to environmental stochasticity and threats such as climate change, and will be likely to persist over the long term (>100 years).
Management units: 1, 7
In 2019, develop a regional, long-term monitoring plan to integrate habitat assessment and threat evaluations into the Belding's savannah sparrow population monitoring conducted by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife on Conserved Lands in the MSPA. Develop a sampling design and standardized protocol to assess habitat and threats at occupied, historically occupied and suitable unoccupied habitats for the sparrow. Design the habitat and threats assessment to inform regional salt marsh vegetation monitoring. The purpose of the plan is to use habitat and threat monitoring data to develop site specific management recommendations to maintain, enhance or restore Belding's savannah sparrow habitat.
|PRP-1||Coordinate with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, scientists and land managers to develop a habitat and threats assessment monitoring protocol to integrate into ongoing regional Belding's savannah sparrow population monitoring.||On hold|
|PRP-2||Submit project metadata and Belding's Savannah Sparrow Habitat and Threat Assessment Monitoring Plan to the MSP Web Portal.||On hold|
|Belding's Savannah Sparrow Habitat and Threat Assessment Monitoring Plan completed by 2019||2021|
Management units: 1, 7
In 2020 or 2021, depending on timing of Belding's savannah sparrow population monitoring implemented by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, conduct habitat and threats assessment as specified in the Belding's Savannah Sparrow Habitat and Threat and Assessment Monitoring Plan and in conjunction with sparrow population monitoring on Conserved Lands in the MSPA.
|IMP-1||Submit project metadata, datasets, analyses and monitoring report with management recommendations to the MSP Web Portal.||waiting for precedent action|
|Belding's Savannah Sparrow Habitat and Threat Monitoring and Report completed by 2021||2021|
|File name||Lead Author||Year||Type|
|City of Carlsbad Habitat Management Plan Annual Report and Monitoring Summary Year 7, Nov. 2010 - October 2011||2012||report|
|Final Mission Bay Park Natural Resource Management Plan||1990||report|
|Los Penasquitos Management Final Report||2014||report|
|MSP Roadmap Dec 31, 2016: VF Species and Vegetation Goals, Objectives, and Actions||San Diego Management and Monitoring Program||2016||other|
Nonmigratory; endemic to the coast of southern California and northern Baja California .
Occurs in MUs 1, 2, and 6 in the MSPA. Occur along the southern coast primarily in coastal salt marshes year-round. More specifically, San Diego Bay, Mission Bay, Santa Margarita River Estuary, Buena Vista Lagoon, Agua Hedionda Lagoon, Batiquitos Lagoon, San Elijo Lagoon, San Dieguito Lagoon, and Los Penasquitos Lagoon are localities with present populations .
Prefer to build their nests on or near the ground, concealed from above, within habitats dominated by dense pickleweed, particularly Salicornia virginica. Nests have been located in pickleweed, shore grass, and saltwort . Conducting an accurate survey can be difficult since they are secretive and forage throughout a marsh, many times away from nesting sites [4, 5].
Belding’s savannah sparrow are one of the seventeen subspecies of the savannah sparrow . Six of those subspecies live at least part of the year in wetlands such as salt marshes. Recognized by its heavily black-streaked underparts and dark olive-tinged upperparts, Belding’s savannah sparrow is a little brown and white streaked sparrow with a yellow eyebrow stripe. The three subspecies that migrate from the north as winter visitors have paler upperparts and defined brown streaks on their underparts. Males and females are similar in appearance .
Nonmigratory and endemic to the coast of southern California . During the winter individuals may form loose flocks, which appear to be aggregations around food-rich patches rather than social groups .
Breeds from April into July, peaking in May and June . Females lay an average of 2-6 eggs per clutch; often double-brooded. Incubation is 10-13 days with altricial young fledging in 7-14 days . Incubation and brooding mostly by female . The primary habitat is the upper marsh zone that is flooded infrequently by the tide. In order to sustain the pickleweed and prevent the invasion of upland plants, the marshes must be flooded regularly, but not so deeply or for so long to preclude the birds from nesting. The birds nest only in this zone, though they range outside it to forage. Nesting success is higher where the marsh plants are denser and taller [3, 12].
Belding’s savannah sparrows forage throughout the marsh, within the vegetation, along intertidal mudflats, and sometimes on neighboring sand dunes [1, 4]. Generally eat grass, seeds, insects, snails, and spiders. Invertebrates are the predominate food source in the breeding season, while seeds are more important the remainder of year. Scratches and gleans on ground, and picks food directly from low plants .
Limited dispersal and exists as a metapopulation with extirpation and recolonization of local populations [1, 13, 14].
Destruction or degradation to salt-marsh habitat due to the direct impact of urban development. Human impacts, such as trespassing into restricted areas, off-trail use in public areas, and feral animals entering into the marsh represent a serious threat to survival.
Narrowly restricted to coastal marshes dominated by pickleweed . Pickleweed habitats have been degraded by changes in tidal flow and freshwater inputs, invasion of nonindigenous plants, and fragmentation by trails and roads. Restoration of this habitat type is difficult and may not result in suitable nesting habitat for sparrows .
 Zembal, R. and S. M. Hoffman. 2010. A survey of the Belding’s Savannah sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis beldingi) in California, 2010. Calif. Dep. Fish and Game, Wildlife Branch, Nongame Wildlife Program Report 2010-10, Sacramento, CA 17 pp.
 California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Natural Diversity Database. July 2017. Special Animals List. Periodic publication. 51 pp.
 Powell, A. N., and Collier, C. L. 1998. Reproductive success of Belding’s Savannah Sparrow in a highly fragmented landscape. Auk 115:508¬-513.
 Bradley, R.A. 1973. A population census of the Belding’s Savannah Sparrow, Passerculus sandwichensis beldingi. Western Bird Bander 48(3): 40 – 43.
 Massey, B.W. 1977. A census of the breeding population of the Belding’s savannah sparrow in California, 1977. Nongame Wildlife Investigation Final Report E-1-1, Study IV, Job 1.2, CA Department of Fish and Game, Sacramento, CA. 8pp + appendices.
 Unitt, Philip, Ann E. Klovstad, William E. Haas, Patrick J. Mock, Kirsten J. Winter, and Anthony Mercieca. 2004. San Diego County bird atlas. San Diego: San Diego Natural History Museum.
 James, R., and D. Stadtlander. 1991. A survey of the Belding’s Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis beldingi). 1991. Final Report. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Southern California Field Station, Carlsbad office, Carlsbad, California, USA.
 Wheelwright, N.T. & Rising, J.D. (1993) Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis). The Birds of North America no. 45 (eds A. Poole, P. Stettenheim & F. Gill), pp. 1–28. American Ornithologists’ Union, Washington.
 Bent, A. C. (O. L. Austin, Jr., ed.). 1968. Life histories of North American cardinals, grosbeaks, buntings, towhees, finches, sparrows, and allies. 3 Parts. U.S. Natl. Mus. Bull. 237. 1889pp.
 Harrison, C. 1978. A field guide to the nests, eggs and nestlings of North American birds. W. Collins Sons and Co., Cleveland, OH. 416pp.
 Ehrlich, P. R., D. S. Dobkin, and D. Wheye. 1988. The birder's handbook. Simon and Schuster, New York. 785pp.
 Powell, A. N. 1993. Nesting habitat of Belding’s Savannah Sparrows in coastal salt marshes. Wetlands 13:210-223.
 Bradley, R.A. 1994. Cultural change and geographic variation in the songs of the Belding’s savannah sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis beldingi). Bulletin of the Southern California Academy of Sciences 93: 91-109.
 Burnell, K.L. 1996. Genetic and cultural evolution in an endangered songbird, the Belding’s savannah sparrow. Santa Cruz: University of California; 203p. Ph.D. dissertation.
 Keer, G., and J. B. Zedler. 2002. Salt marsh canopy architecture differs with the number and composition of species. Ecological Applications 12:456-473.