Creekside Science

Archive for the ‘Stewardship’ Category

San Bruno Mountain Lupine Seeding Year 2

In Mission Blue Butterfly, Rare species, Research, Restoration, Stewardship on January 7, 2020 at 3:02 pm

In 2018 Creekside Science was awarded a Disney Butterfly Conservation Initiative grant for work with the federally endangered Mission blue butterfly (MBB). This grant covers work with MBB habitat, with a focus on restoration of the butterfly’s host lupine species.

In December 2019 Creekside Science staff and Kirra Swenerton (of Root Wisdom) installed 10 blocks of experimental seed plots on San Bruno Mountain using 50 Lupinus formosus and 50 Lupinus albifrons seeds each. In addition to those experimental plots, 10 operational plots were installed, each containing 50 seeds (25 of each species). Lastly, 3000 seeds (1,700 L. formosus and 1,300 L. albifrons) were set out in expansion plots elsewhere on the hill. These plots join last year’s Lupinus formosus experimental seeding trials to further our understanding of how best to establish lupines in MBB habitat. The seeds were propagated in the Creekside Science Conservation Nursery. This is all part of a regional, interagency conservation effort to support lupine diversification and habitat enhancement for the recovery of the MBB.  In cooperation with multiple agency partners, efforts to address known habitat enhancement challenges through updated host plant mapping, lupine seed amplification and experimental direct seeding strategies are underway.

Think Big, Connect More

In Climate Change, Networking, Rare species, Research, Stewardship on January 6, 2020 at 3:56 pm

In November 2019, more than 125 members of the conservation community gathered at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation for the official launch of the Bay Area Conservation Lands Network 2.0 Science Expansion. CLN 2.0 inventories, synthesizes, and projects forward the impressive collective efforts that have made the Bay Area a world leader in conservation, and provides that information to the greater conservation community and public at large.

Since 2006, Chief Scientist Stu Weiss has served as Science Adviser on this visionary project, bringing to bear scientific and GIS skills and his deep knowledge and love of Bay Area biogeography to the question “Which lands should be protected and stewarded to conserve the rich and irreplaceable biodiversity of the 10 Bay Area counties in an era of rapid environmental change?”  The CLN 2.0 team led by Tom Robinson and supported by the expertise of more than 100 volunteer scientists and practitioners, pored over hundreds of data sources – biogeography of flora and fauna, physical geography of landforms, climate, and hydrology, and human geography of development, laws, and institutions.  Those data were prioritized and synthesized into a network design.

The broad answer is 2.5 million acres conserved by 2050, half of the region (Think Big).  CLN 2.0 builds off the currently protected 1.4 million acres to further encompass rare and irreplaceable ecosystems and the species they support, vast expanses of more common flora and fauna, and ensuring connectivity across the mountain ranges and valleys of the Bay Area (Connect More).

For the full report (full of beautiful photos, many taken by Stu), online access to data via the CLN 2.0 Explorer, and to download an organized GIS project, go to www.bayarealands.org

Creekside Science Senior Biologist Christal Niederer Featured By California Department of Fish and Wildlife

In Rare species, Restoration, Stewardship on September 25, 2019 at 10:22 am

Christal Niederer was featured in a CNDDB Contributor Spotlight article this month that provides some background on how Christal became a vital member of Creekside Science as well as some information on some of our current projects.

According to the CDFW, “the goal of the CNDDB is to provide the most current information available on the state’s most imperiled elements of natural diversity and to provide tools to analyze these data.”

Christal has been a regular contributor to the database over the years, and she clearly articulates why this is the case: “It feels good to know you’re the current expert on a particular occurrence, especially if you’ve led a project to reestablish that taxon. Having your report change the occurrence from ‘presumed extirpated’ to ‘extant’ feels really good. I’m always amazed how much information is in the CNDDB when I need to look something up. We’re all so lucky to have this resource, and we need to take the time to keep it current.”

Enjoy the article!

https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Data/CNDDB/News/cnddb-contributor-spotlight-christal-niederer

2018 San Mateo Thornmint Update

In Rare species, Restoration, Stewardship on July 19, 2018 at 2:18 pm

2018ThornmintPic2This has been an amazing year for San Mateo thornmint recovery. Creekside Science seeded a new location away from Edgewood Preserve this year, and had a strong showing with all plots occupied and 17% survivorship. We also seeded our three newer sites at Edgewood (for the third year), but for the first time did not seed the original site based on declining habitat quality. Our new sites are performing well, with every cohort increasing this year. The bottom line is we counted 19,187 thornmint at our five sites. This is up from last year’s project high of 7,549, and our project low of 249 in 2008.

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Metcalf Canyon Jewelflower on Tulare Hill

In Rare species, Restoration, Stewardship on July 19, 2018 at 2:11 pm

Federally endangered Metcalf Canyon jewelflower continues to passively recruit after three years of active seeding on Tulare Hill in San Jose. In 2017 we documented a total of 412 plants at our plots, which increased to 1,312 in 2018. An exciting find was an additional dozen reproductive plants more than 200 meters from our nearest plot, indicating the plant’s ability to disperse, flower, and fruit on their own.

Reintroduction of San Mateo Thornmint to Pulgas Ridge!

In Rare species, Restoration, Stewardship on January 5, 2018 at 3:46 pm

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For years, the federally endangered San Mateo thornmint was known from only one location at Edgewood Natural Preserve in Redwood City. In the last two seasons, Creekside Science has seeded three new locations within the Preserve, bringing the total number of San Mateo thornmint to 7,549 in May 2017, its highest since we began monitoring in 2007. This January, we seeded a new location at nearby Pulgas Ridge, thanks to funding and support from San Francisco Water, Power and Sewer. We hope to be instrumental in creating the five self-sustaining populations required by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Recovery Plan to downlist this taxon. Other partners include Friends of Edgewood, Yerba Bioadvocacy, San Mateo County Parks, California Native Plant Society, U.C. Berkeley Botanical Garden, San Mateo County Parks Foundation, Mellam Family Foundation, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Bay Checkerspot Butterfly Returns to San Bruno Mountain!

In Bay Checkerspot, Climate Change, Nitrogen Deposition, Recognition and Media, Research, Restoration, Stewardship, Topoclimatic Studies on March 6, 2017 at 3:55 pm

The federally threatened Bay checkerspot butterfly was extirpated from San Bruno BCB_Larva_lanceolata_munch_SBM 3-1-2017 4-51-20 PM (1)Mountain in the mid 1980s.  On March 2 and 3 2017, Creekside Science biologists collected 3630 caterpillars from Coyote Ridge in San Jose and released them on the main ridge of San Bruno Mountain.  The larvae immediately started munching English plantain, a  non-native used by other closely related checkerspot populations.  The cool coastal environment, robust perennial hostplant, and extensive habitat are encouraging aspects of this project.  This project may show that we can reintroduce extirpated species without the technical challenges and expense of restoring all historical conditions.

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Find the very hungry caterpillar!

Many thanks to the Disney Butterfly Conservation Initiative, US Fish and Wildlife Service, San Mateo County Parks and Recreation, and SF Bay Wildlife Society for financial and professional support.

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Reintroduction high above San Francisco International Airport. Bay checkerspot flight #1 will depart in late March!

Creekside Science Quino checkerspot work

In Research, Restoration, Stewardship on February 10, 2017 at 1:34 pm

Creekside Science is working in collaboration with numerous agencies and institutions, including the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), San Diego National Wildlife Refuge, San Diego Zoo, San Diego State University and Earth Discovery Institute, on reversing the decline of the critically endangered Quino checkerspot butterfly (Euphydryas editha quino) in San Diego County.  Dr. Weiss has gone down to San Diego County a few times for field work, and he will be going again soon when the Quino checkerspot butterflies start flying. Please click here for more information.

Ardenwood Historic Farm Monarch Habitat Assessment

In Stewardship on January 9, 2017 at 4:45 pm

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On January 6, 2017, Creekside Science began site assessment and habitat characterization of Monarch butterfly overwintering habitat at Ardenwood Historic Farm (East Bay Regional Parks District).

The primary goal of this project is to conserve the long-term integrity of winter roosting habitat for monarch butterflies at Ardenwood by developing comprehensive site stewardship plans.

Creekside Chief Scientist Flies High Once Again in the Name of Monarch Stewardship

In Stewardship on December 28, 2016 at 5:11 pm

In December 2016 Creekside Chief Scientist Dr. Stuart Weiss was hoisted high into the sky by way of a bucket truck to facilitate Monarch habitat assessment work at Rob Hill in the Presidio. Creekside Science is engaged in canopy characterization to assess seasonal solar radiation, temperature and wind conditions in Monarch butterfly overwintering habitat.
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Hemispherical photography conducted at different elevations increases our understanding of overall habitat structure and what conditions the butterflies require. This information guides comprehensive site-specific adaptive management plans.

Dr. Weiss was happy to check this off his bucket list!