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Sensitive and/or Listed species found in Northern Santa Barbara County.

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Presentation on theme: "Sensitive and/or Listed species found in Northern Santa Barbara County."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sensitive and/or Listed species found in Northern Santa Barbara County

2 California tiger salamander (Ambystoma californiense)

3 California tiger salamander Listing History: Emergency listed as Endangered on January 19, 2000 (65 Federal Register (FR) 3096); Final listing as Endangered September 21, 2000 (65 FR 57242). Critical Habitat: November 24, 2004 (68 FR 68568) Recovery Plan: Not completed.

4 Habitat o The California tiger salamander inhabits low elevation vernal pools and seasonal ponds and associated grassland, oak savannah, and coastal scrub plant communities of the Santa Maria, Los Alamos, and Santa Rita valleys in northwestern Santa Barbara County (generally under 1,500 feet).

5 Diet o Adults probably feed mainly on a variety of invertebrates. Larvae feed on algae, small crustaceans and mosquito larvae for about six weeks after hatching. After that time the larvae begin feeding on larger prey including small tadpoles as well as many aquatic insects.

6 Breeding o Female California tiger salamanders lay eggs singly or in small groups. The number of eggs laid can range from 400 to 1300 per breeding season. o Eggs are generally attached to vegetation near the edge of the breeding pond, but in cases where there is little or no vegetation the eggs may be attached to rocks or other material (such as branches) on the bottom of the pond. o It takes about 10 to 14 days for the eggs to hatch. California tiger salamander larvae reach maturity in approximately 60 to 94 days. In late spring or early summer the salamanders leave the ponds to seek out burrows in nearby upland habitat.

7 Upland Habitat Use o Subadult and adult California tiger salamanders spend much of their lives in small mammal burrows (e.g., ground squirrels and pocket gophers). o Evidence suggests that California tiger salamanders remain active in their underground dwellings. Movement within and among burrow systems continues for at least several months after they leave the ponds, and at least some of these animals feed in these burrows. o Once rains begin they emerge from their burrows at night to feed and migrate to breeding ponds. Adults may migrate up to 1.2 miles from their summering grounds to breeding areas.

8 Threats Habitat loss and fragmentation  Road development or widening projects can fragment ponds and result in a loss of connectivity between populations; loss of habitat due to development or land converting to intensive agricultural activities. Non-native predators  Bullfrogs, catfish, bass, mosquitofish, red swamp crayfish, and signal crayfish prey on at least one life stage of the California red ‑ legged frog. Raccoons are known to depress California red ‑ legged frog populations and are often associated with rural developments. Other  Road kill, contaminants (urban and agricultural), isolation, drought, hybridization, competition.

9 California red-legged frog (Rana aurora draytonii)

10 Listing History: Listed as threatened on May 23, 1996 (61 FR 25813). Critical habitat:  first designated on March 13, 2001 (66 FR 14625);  on November 6, 2002, the critical habitat rule was vacated;  the Service published a revised proposed critical habitat rule on November 3, 2005 (70 FR 66906). Recovery Plan: Finalized on May 28, 2002.

11 Habitat The historic range extended from the vicinity of Point Reyes National Seashore, Marin County, California, coastally and from the vicinity of Redding, Shasta County, California, inland southward to northwestern Baja California, Mexico. California red-legged frogs have been found at elevations that range from sea level to about 5,000 feet. It uses a variety of habitat types, which include various aquatic systems, riparian, and upland habitats. The historic range extended from the vicinity of Point Reyes National Seashore, Marin County, California, coastally and from the vicinity of Redding, Shasta County, California, inland southward to northwestern Baja California, Mexico. California red-legged frogs have been found at elevations that range from sea level to about 5,000 feet. It uses a variety of habitat types, which include various aquatic systems, riparian, and upland habitats.

12 Diet  The diet of California red-legged frogs is highly variable. Tadpoles likely feed on algae and invertebrates have been found to be the most common food item of adults. Vertebrates, such as Pacific chorus frogs and California mice represented over half of the prey mass eaten by larger frogs. Feeding activity likely occurs along the shoreline and on the surface of the water. Juveniles have been found to be active diurnally and nocturnally, whereas adults are largely nocturnal.

13 Breeding  Breed from November through March; earlier breeding has been recorded in southern localities.  Breed in aquatic habitats; larvae, juveniles and adults have been collected from streams, creeks, ponds, marshes, plunge pools and backwaters within streams, dune ponds, lagoons and estuaries. California red-legged frogs frequently breed in artificial impoundments, such as stock ponds, if conditions are appropriate.  Female California red-legged frogs deposit egg masses on emergent vegetation so that the masses float on the surface of the water. Egg masses contain about 2,000 to 5,000 moderate- sized, dark reddish brown eggs. Eggs hatch in 6 to 14 days. Larvae undergo metamorphosis 3.5 to 7 months after hatching.

14 Upland Habitat Use  Juvenile and adult California red-legged frogs may disperse long distances from breeding sites through out the year. They have been found up to 400 feet from water in adjacent dense riparian vegetation.  During periods of wet weather, starting with the first rains of fall, some individuals may make overland excursions through upland habitats. Most of these overland movements occur at night. Some individuals have been found to move up to 2 miles over the course of a wet season.

15 Threats Habitat loss and alteration  Road maintenance projects, off ‑ road vehicle use, and livestock grazing contribute to erosion of stream banks and siltation of streams; eggs can be smothered. Siltation that occurs during the breeding season can lead to asphyxiation of eggs resulting in small numbers of California red ‑ legged frog larvae. Non-native predators  Bullfrogs, catfish, bass, mosquitofish, red swamp crayfish, and signal crayfish prey on at least one life stage of the California red ‑ legged frog. Raccoons are known to depress California red ‑ legged frog populations and are often associated with rural developments.

16 Vernal Pool Fairy Shrimp (Branchinecta lynchi)

17 Listing History: Listed as Threatened on September 19, 1994 (59 FR 48136). Critical habitat: August 6, 2003 (68 FR 46684). Recovery plan: Addresses vernal pool ecosystems of California and southern Oregon, finalized on December 15, 2005.

18 Habitat  The vernal pool fairy shrimp occupies a variety of vernal pool and seasonal wetland habitats, including grassy swales, small sandstone rock pools, basalt flow basins, and alkaline playas. Although vernal pool fairy shrimp have been collected from large vernal wetlands, including one exceeding 25 acres in area, the species tends to occur primarily in smaller area (e.g., 0.05 acre or less). Water depths vary and can be as two inches.  The species can reach maturity in habitat that remains inundated for as little as 18 days; however, 41 days of inundation is more typical. Upland vegetation communities surrounding occupied vernal pool fairy shrimp habitat are most commonly needlegrass grassland, non- native annual grassland, and alkaline grassland.

19 Diet  Vernal pool fairy shrimp are non-selective filter-feeders that filter suspended solids from the water column. Detritus, bacteria, algal cells, and other items between 0.3 to 100 microns may be filtered and ingested.  Fairy shrimp are prey for a wide variety of wildlife, including beetles, insect larvae, frogs, salamanders, toad tadpoles, shorebirds, ducks, and even other fairy shrimp.

20 Breeding  The vernal pool fairy shrimp has a two-stage life cycle with the majority of their life cycle spent in the cyst (egg) stage.  Vernal pool fairy shrimp females produce an unknown number of cysts per clutch and over their lifetime. The cysts are either dropped to the pool bottom or remain in the brood sac until the female dies and sinks.  Fairy shrimp cysts are capable of withstanding heat, cold, and prolonged desiccation and may persist in the soil for an unknown number of years until conditions are favorable for successful hatching. The cysts hatch when the vernal pools fill with rainwater.

21 Threats Habitat loss and fragmentation  Urbanization, agricultural conversion, and mining infrastructure projects  roads, water storage and conveyance, utilities recreational activities  off-highway vehicles and hiking erosion Other  Habitat alternation/degradation as a result of changes to natural hydrology, competition from invasive species, incompatible grazing regimes (including insufficient grazing for prolonged periods), mosquito abatement activities, climatic and environmental change, and contamination

22 La Graciosa thistle (Cirsium loncholepis) Photo by Ann Howald, courtesy of California Native Plant Society

23 Listing History: Listed as endangered on March 20, 2000 (50 FR 14888) Critical Habitat: oDesignated on March 17, 2004 (69 FR 12553) ( ) oCritical habitat still in effect for this species; it has not been remanded. The Service has a settlement agreement (with the Homebuilders Association of northern California, et al.) to reanalyze critical habitat for this species and, if warranted, must submit to the FR for publication a proposed rule to revise the designation by Jul 27, 2008; and a final rule by Jul 27, oStill undergoing taxonomic review – Dr. David Keil. Recovery Plan: No plan for this species.

24 Habitat  Largely restricted to back dune and coastal wetlands of southern San Luis Obispo County and northern Santa Barbara County from the Pismo Dunes lake area and south historically to the Santa Ynez River. The La Graciosa thistle is found in wet soils surrounding the dune lakes and in the moist dune swales.  The historic distribution of the species included extensive areas in the Orcutt region that have been converted from wetland habitat to agricultural uses or otherwise developed.  Currently, populations occur in Los Alamos, the Nipomo and Guadalupe Dunes complexes, and at the Santa Maria River mouth. The Santa Maria River supports the largest population.

25 Threats  Loss of habitat  habitat fragmentation  invasive non-natives  water pumping/lowering of the water table  effects of cattle (grazing, trampling, crushing)

26 Additional sensitive species Several other species would benefit from protective measures and conserved habitat such as the southwestern pond turtle, Photo by: Jeff Lovich

27 the burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia hypugaea),

28 and the western spadefoot toad (spea hammondii).

29 In Summary  The covered species list needs to reflect take that would be associated with covered activities within the plan area;  All species mentioned here are found within northern Santa Barbara County;  All require aquatic habitat to survive and/or complete their life cycles/breed;  All are threatened by habitat loss; and  California tiger salamanders and California red- legged frogs have similar upland habitat requirements.

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