With the occurrences of invasive beetles spreading throughout Southern California, work in 2018 focused on detecting invasive shot hole borer (ISHB) through emergent pest trapping and monitoring. ISHB are known to attack over 250 species of plants including many native riparian species such as sycamores and willows. From our monitoring we know that ISHB is present in low levels in Chiquita and San Juan Creeks. No landscape treatment is available to combat for ISHB as of yet, although research on treatments continues at UC Riverside. The health of the Reserve’s oak woodland was also assessed as the Gold Spotted Oak Borer is a threat to the Reserve’s oak species. So far this species has not been detected on the Reserve.
Monitoring of sensitive plant species in the Habitat Reserve continued in 2018, including for many-stemmed dudleya (Dudleya multicaulis), thread-leaved brodiaea (Brodiaea filifolia), southern tarplant (Centromadia parryi ssp. australis),and Coulter’s saltbush(Atriplex coulteri). Each year the population status of these species are examined, including the number of emergent and flowering plants. Through our monitoring we have found that dudleya and saltbush populations are stable on a year to year basis while brodiaea and tarplant are highly variable. This variability appears to be tied to the amount and timing of rainfall.
Monitoring of the Los Patrones Parkway wildlife under-crossings was also initiated upon opening of the roadway. Deer, coyotes and bobcats have all been detected using the under-crossings.
In 2018 the Habitat Reserve vegetation community mapping update was also conducted. This mapping update is done every 5th year, and allows us to track changes in vegetation communities over time, and compare these changes to trends that might be happening within the larger eco-region. Also in 2018, the next five-year Management Action Plan was drafted and submitted to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for their review. Monitoring and management of the Reserve is designed in five year increments to incorporate changes to the habitat reserve size and monitoring and management priorities. The development of Management Action Plans is coordinated with our Science Panel, three experts on monitoring and management from academia.