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Diverse Species Benefitting From Restored Marshlands

Marsh

Less than 150 years ago, the Napa-Sonoma marshes surrounding San Pablo Bay comprised one of the most extensive wetland systems along the Pacific coast. This system provided habitat for millions of migrating waterfowl and shorebirds as well as resident wildlife. Plants specialized to live in aquatic habitats grew bountifully, sheltering and feeding a rich diversity of species. 

  • Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse

    Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse

    This endangered species live only in the salt marshes of the San Francisco Bay estuary.  Unlike most land mammals which must have fresh water to drink, the salt marsh harvest mouse can drink salt water.  Its specialized kidneys allow the expulsion of excess salt.

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  • Ridgway's Rail

    California Clapper Rail

    This seldom seen endangered species moves quietly through the cordgrass and pickleweed marshes.  It's loud "kek kek kek" call can be heard at dusk and dawn.

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  • Canvasback

    Canvasback

    Providing wintering habitat for canvasbacks was one of the reasons why San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge was established.  Historically, more than 50% of canvasbacks surveyed in the estuary were located in the North Bay.

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  • Pickleweed

    Pickleweed

    Pickleweed (Sarcocornia pacifica) is the predominant plant in San Francisco Bay salt marshes.  This perennial halophyte (salt tolerant plant) will turn yellow or red in the fall.  The endangered salt marsh harvest mouse feeds on the pickleweed and will make its nest in it up at higher elevations.

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Page Photo Credits — Marsh/Aric Crabb, Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse/B. Moose Peterson, Ridgway's Rail/Chris Cochems, Canvasback/Greg Block, Pickleweed/Angela Sanan
Last Updated: Oct 30, 2014
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