by Phil Roullard)
variety of habitats from coastal sage scrub and chaparral to oak woodland
and freshwater marsh describe this inland refuge in San Diego’s
The Otay-Sweetwater Unit of the San Diego NWR is part of the National
Wildlife Refuge System’s contribution to the Multiple Species
Conservation Plan, a program designed to conserve enough open space
and habitat for species survival while enabling orderly development
to occur where necessary.
San Diego NWR's abundance of coastal sage and chaparral are an important
addition to other inland preserves established to conserve and restore
fast diminishing habitat. This inland refuge is home to such endangered
birds as Least Bell's Vireo, California Gnatcatcher, a rare butterfly,
the Quino Checkerspot and to the San Diego Horned Lizard. Biological
surveys for other species are ongoing as new land is acquired. The
approved refuge boundary for the San Diego Refuge is 44,000 acres,
and 8,000 acres for the Vernal Pools Unit.
Wildlife observation and photography, hiking and guided walks are
some of the activities visitors can enjoy at this refuge. Please call
the refuge office at (619) 468-9245 for more information, hours and directions.
Here is a link to a great story written up in the Chula Vista Nature Center Newsletter about burrowing research going on the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge.
Burrowing Owls - A Return to Sweetwater