Quantcast Western Snowy Plover (Charadrius alexandrius nivosus)

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In 1995 two pair were recorded in Carpinteria Marsh (CDFG 2000).  Light-footed
clapper rails rarely venture far from marsh vegetation and would not be expected on the
beaches in the BEACON project area.
Western Snowy Plover (Charadrius alexandrius nivosus) - Federal Threatened,
California Species of Special Concern. This small shorebird nests on large expansive
sand areas and forages for invertebrates on sand flats, sandy intertidal beaches, or
intertidal mudflats. Within the BEACON project area snowy plovers nest at McGrath
State Beach, Mandalay Beach, Channel Islands Harbor, and Ormand Beach between
March and September (M. Whetje, CDFG, personal communication 2000). During the
winter, they disperse from their nesting sites and forage on beaches throughout the
BEACON project area. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has designated several
beaches within the BEACON project area as Critical Habitat for the western snowy
plover (Miller 1999).  These beaches are Devereaux Beach, Point Castillo/Santa
Barbara Harbor Beach, Carpinteria Beach, San BuenaVentura Beach, Mandalay
Beach/Santa Clara River Mouth, Ormond Beach, and Mugu Lagoon Beach.
California Least Tern (Sterna antillarum browni ) - Federal Endangered, State
Endangered. Least terns nest on sandy beaches and prefer to forage in quiet bays and
lagoons although they also feed off the open coast.  This species has become
endangered primarily because of human disturbance to its sandy beach nesting habitat.
Least terns are present in southern California during the breeding season between April
and September. They winter in South America. In the BEACON project area, least
terns breed at the Santa Clara River mouth and Ormond Beach. There is a major least
tern breeding colony at Point Mugu.
Belding's Savannah Sparrow (Paserculus sandwichensis beldingi ) - State Endangered,
Federal Species of Concern.  This race is one of the four described forms of the
widespread savannah sparrow that inhabit a wide variety of grass and marsh habitats
throughout north and central America. Belding's is darker in plumage than the other
races and is restricted to salt marsh habitats where it breeds in pickleweed. Within the
BEACON project area, Belding's savannah sparrow breeds at Goleta Slough,
Carpinteria Marsh, McGrath Beach and Ormond Beach (CDFG 2000). Mugu Lagoon,
just east of the BEACON project area, supports a large breeding population.
Southern Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris nereis) - Federal Threatened. The southern sea
otter ranges along the central California coast from Pigeon Point near Santa Cruz in
San Mateo County south to Purisma Point north of Point Conception in Santa Barbara
County. The population has recovered from near extinction from fur traders, but still
remains vulnerable because of its restricted range. The 2000 census of the population
was 2,317 otters.(Walden-Schertz 2000). In 1987, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
started a program to transplant otters to San Nicolas Island.  By the end of the
translocation effort in 1990, more than 139 southern sea otters and one rehabilitated
pup had been moved to San Nicolas Island (USFWS 1999). The translocation effort
has been a failure. In 1998 only 15 sea otters were counted on the island. Wanderers
from the southern sea otter's established range have been reported from Cape
Mendocino in northern California to Point Loma near San Diego. In February 1999, 152
otters were counted south of Point Conception (Scherz 2000).  It is expected that
3208 Bio Report


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