A Wildlife Refuge Near I-5
At a Unit of the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge River Partners has created a birding hotspot, immediately adjacent to the State’s largest highway.
Using agricultural techniques to clear the site of weeds and debris, prepare the site for planting, develop and install a drip irrigation system, plant the site and combat weeds through the 3-year establishment period, River Partners delivered high value wildlife habitat that is occupied by several threatened and endangered species. Plant survival at the end of three growing seasons was 84%. To walk the site now, you wouldn’t believe the transformation.
River Partners engaged avian biologists to monitor the restoration area and surrounding habitat lands for winter bird abundance and diversity. Avian abundance (number of birds observed during the monitoring event) increased from 7-21 birds pre-project to 35-46 birds post-project. Avian richness (number of species observed during the monitoring event) increased from 4-5 species pre-project to 8-10 species post-project. In addition to these winter surveys, targeted surveys for threatened Least Bell’s Vireo identified three individuals and one confirmed nest in the spring of 2014. 63 additional bird species were observed on site in the spring of 2014. The lands are accessible by trail for hiking, biking, running, and of course, birding!