Welcome to the 3rd edition of Habitat Happenings, a newsletter provided by San Diego Habitat Conservancy. Much has happened in the past few months!
In October, SDHC held its 5th Annual Gala to celebrate the work done by staff, Board members, and volunteers over the past year and to raise funds for habitat conservation in San Diego County. The event featured a live performance by guitarist Jeff Dewine, a silent auction, and presentations by SDHC staff and board members. The event was even featured in theSolana Beach Sun. Thanks to all who attended!
In October, Executive Director, Don Scoles, and Board President, Eric Mondero, met with U.S. Representative Susan Davis. They discussed the work we do throughout the region and our efforts to bring education outdoors. In December, Don and Eric, met with California State Assemblymember Rocky Chavez and his staff member, Robyn Silva, at the Encinas Creek Preserve in Carlsbad. The majority of the preserves SDHC manages or will soon be managing are located in Assemblymember Chavez' district so this was a great opportunity to begin building a relationship with him.
Also in December, staff at the Peet's Coffee & Tea in Point Loma selected SDHC for their Holiday Donations Program. Staff helped to raise over $1500 in donations for SDHC! These donations will help us greatly as we expand our education program and work to protect even more sensitive resources throughout San Diego County. Thank you to all who donated!
You may notice that this newsletter is in a different format than the previous one sent out last year. We are working with a new program to provide you a better quality format. Please let us know if you have any problems viewing this newsletter and if there are any topics you would like covered in upcoming newsletters by emailing Sarah at email@example.com. Our goal is to start providing a newsletter on a quarterly basis. As always, we appreciate your support!
Attendees at the 5th Annual Gala.
Assistant Program Coordinator, Sarah Krejca, presenting at the 5th Annual Gala.
(from left) SDHC Executive Director Don Scoles, Assemblymember Rocky Chavez, Robyn Silva
Our vision is a healthy natural
environment that engages the commitment
of people and communities, creates a legacy,
and improves the quality of life
for all living things.
Carlsbad Raceway: From Dragstrip to Protected Habitat
SDHC recently became the long-term manager of the Carlsbad Raceway Preserve which runs along the border of the cities of Carlsbad and Vista. This 46.25-acre preserve sits on the former site of the Carlsbad Raceway which was used for automobile and off-road motorcycle racing from 1964 to 2004.
The site underwent 5 years of restoration and now supports Diegan coastal sage scrub, non-native grassland, southern mixed chaparral, southern willow scrub, freshwater marsh, streambed, and mule fat scrub. The site also provides a safe haven for a number of sensitive species, including the threatened coastal California gnatcatcher, Cooper’s hawk, yellow-breasted chat, loggerhead shrike, white-tailed kite, California horned lark, orange-throated whiptail, San Diego marsh-elder, small flowered morning-glory, southwestern spiny rush, California adolphia, Del Mar manzanita, and ashy spike-moss.
Habitat Manager, Jim Rocks, will be visiting the site on a quarterly basis to ensure the quality of the habitat is maintained and continues to improve. This preserve forms a portion of the County’s Multiple Habitat Conservation Program (MHCP) area and is bordered by open space to the north and the Carlsbad Oaks Habitat Conservation Area to the northwest.
The wildlife camera we installed last year at Bridges & Santa Fe Creek Preserve captured photos of a bobcat on 15 different occasions during a 3-month period! We were excited to confirm that the site is being used by this beautiful, solitary feline. We already knew that bobcats were present on the preserve due to the observation of bobcat sign.
Sign, the scat and tracks left by wildlife, are clues to determine what secretive wildlife is present in an area. We present a brief look at common wildlife sign you may observe while hiking in San Diego or in your backyard.
Bobcat scat consists primarily of hair and bones. The scat is often segmented with blunt ends and has minimal twisting; it is also very dense and hard. When old, the scat has a smooth gray coating as shown in the above photo.
Unlike dog and coyote tracks, a bobcat
track usually shows no claws and is round overall. The heel pad has 2 lobes in the front and 3 lobes in the back as shown in the illustration. Bobcat tracks average about 1 1/2 inches tall x 1 3/8 inches wide. Mountain lion tracks are similar in shape but much larger, measuring about 3 1/2 inches tall x 4 inches wide.
Coyotes are omnivores with a more varied diet. Coyote scat consists of hair, bones, seeds, and trash. Coyotes eat local plants such as date palm and lemonadeberry. The scat is often twisted with tapered ends and much less dense than that of a bobcat or mountain lion.
Coyote tracks generally show claws and the
palm pads are triangular in shape. Coyote tracks average about 2 1/2 inches tall x 1 1/2 inches wide and are symmetrical. The heel pad has 1 lobe in the front and 2 lobes in the back as shown in the illustration. Be careful not to confuse them with dog tracks which have splayed toes and come in a variety of sizes.
What's In the Works?
SDHC is working with CAL FIRE to conduct a prescribed burn of the grassland at the Lonestar Preserve in Otay Mesa. Look for updates about this event in our next newsletter and by visiting our Facebook page often.
As part of Give Local America, the first ever national day of giving event, SDHC is participating in The San Diego Foundation's giveBIG event on Tuesday,May 6, 2014. This is a great chance for the public to donate to SDHC. The minimum donation is $25 and the first $1,000 of every gift is eligible for funds from the incentive pool. Look for more information on Facebook and on our website as the date approaches.
SDHC is working with Vrütty Productions to create videos about the preserves we manage, the habitats we protect, and the work we do. Adam of Vrütty Productions recently accompanied Board, staff, and volunteers on a tour of a number of preserves that SDHC either manages or hopes to be managing in the future. It was a great chance to not only capture some footage but to learn about the preserves we look forward to managing one day soon.
Developing the Education Program
Staff and members of our Board are working diligently to create a stronger, more viable education program that aims to get children outdoors and to create interactive educational opportunities for local schools. We are currently working on fostering partnerships with local schools and organizations that share our goals. Please contact Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in helping SDHC work to bring the classroom outdoors or if your organization or school is interested in accessing our preserves for educational purposes.
Become a Member Today!
Our efforts to preserve native habitat and biodiversity in San Diego County and to expand and strengthen our education program can only be accomplished with the support of donations. As a dedicated member, you are helping to preserve those spaces that are unique to San Diego and you are helping to ensure that future generations may enjoy the same beauty that never ceases to astound and inspire us. Please make your voice heard by becoming a member today! Ask your family and friends to become involved. Go to www.sdhabitat.org to join. Make a minimum $35 donation and receive a SDHC tote bag.