Home
Field Notes
 
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
SACRAMENTO FWO: Jewelflower Returns to Tulare Hill
California-Nevada Offices , March 7, 2014
Print Friendly Version
Four blocks on Tulare Hill were seeded on March 2. Each block contains 40 one-meter by one-meter plots, with each receiving 100 seeds.
Four blocks on Tulare Hill were seeded on March 2. Each block contains 40 one-meter by one-meter plots, with each receiving 100 seeds. - Photo Credit: Justen Whittall/Santa Clara University
Sowing Metcalf Canyon Jewelflowers into a wet carpet of Plantago erecta seedlings at Tulare Hill.
Sowing Metcalf Canyon Jewelflowers into a wet carpet of Plantago erecta seedlings at Tulare Hill. - Photo Credit: Justen Whittall/Santa Clara University
Team Jewelflower from left to right: Dr. Stu Weiss, Jimmy Quenelle and Christal Niederer (Creekside); Aaron Thom and Dr. Justen Whittall (Santa Clara University).
Team Jewelflower from left to right: Dr. Stu Weiss, Jimmy Quenelle and Christal Niederer (Creekside); Aaron Thom and Dr. Justen Whittall (Santa Clara University). - Photo Credit: Justen Whittall/Santa Clara University
Metcalf Canyon Jewelflower (Streptanthus albidus ssp. albidus).
Metcalf Canyon Jewelflower (Streptanthus albidus ssp. albidus). - Photo Credit: Justen Whittall/Santa Clara University

The Metcalf Canyon Jewelflower (Streptanthus albidus ssp. albidus) was reintroduced to Tulare Hill in southern Santa Clara County, on March 2, 2014.  

Approximately 16,000 seeds were sown in four locations on Tulare Hill, an isolated serpentine grassland nestled between Santa Teresa Blvd. and Monterey Hwy. The property is owned by Santa Clara County Parks and the Silicon Valley Land Conservancy who are partners in the reintroduction. Seed were also planted near existing populations at the Motorcycle County Park atop Metcalf Road on March 4, 2014 as controls and to supplement those existing populations.

This historic population of jewelflower at Tulare Hill declined primarily due to overgrazing by cattle. No jewelflowers have persisted at Tulare Hill since 1980 when the remaining population was extirpated by residential development.

A modified grazing regime and improved understanding of the jewelflower’s biology have been a collaborative effort by Santa Clara University’s Department of Biology and Creekside Center for Earth Observation. Lead by Dr. Justen Whittall and Aaron Thom of Santa Clara University and Dr. Stu Weiss and Christal Niederer from Creekside, the reintroduction represents the culmination of nearly ten years of research and planning to maximize the probability of long-term success. Volunteers from the California Native Plant Society and undergraduates from Santa Clara University have been instrumental in preparing the seeds for the reintroduction.

Although the reintroduction was nearly thwarted by this season’s unprecedented drought, the recent rains have improved conditions for the jewelflower’s germination and survival. The newly planted seeds will be monitored regularly for germination, survival, flowering and seed set. After a second year of planting next winter, Tulare Hill is expected to support a jewelflower population of over 4,000 individuals capable of producing hundreds of thousands of seeds.

The Metcalf Canyon Jewelflower reintroduction has been supported by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BOR). It was selected through a competitive scoring and ranking process made up of a team from BOR, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), and CA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife and will help to recover the Metcalf Canyon Jewelflower per the Service's Recovery Plan.


Contact Info: Sarah Swenty, 916-414-6571, sarah_swenty@fws.gov



Send to:
From:

Notes:
Find a Field Notes Entry

Search by keyword

Search by State




Search by Region


US Fish and Wildlife Service footer