The Wash was teeming with life during recent biological survey work done this month as a part of the Upper Santa Ana River Wash Habitat Conservation Plan.
Biologists in the field spotted three nesting pairs of California gnatcatchers, including two feeding nestlings and a pair of older fledglings, one of which was feasting on a larvae. The birds were nesting in brittlebush, yerba santa and white sage, and the older fledglings look to be about two weeks old, since they are foraging independently, but still being visited by their watchful parents. Two unmated males were also seen during this initial survey.
A focus is being put on collecting habitat data at sampled plots for the San Bernardino kangaroo rat, with 10 of 100 plots now completed using protocol from the U.S Geological Survey. The surveyors are using sub-meter GPS devices to identify plot locations, laying out plot boundaries and taking soil compaction readings. These and other ongoing biological surveys are an important part of the Habitat Conservation Plan. Read More