Susan Euing and Louis Terrazas Planting Naked Stemmed Buckwheat

Antioch Dunes NWR blends specific management for the three endangered species into the overall management of the riverine sand dune ecosystem.  The emphasis is on adaptive management, which includes monitoring the effects of management actions on endangered species and habitat health, and adjusting as necessary.

Management Activities

To help plants and wildlife, refuge staff uses a variety of habitat management techniques to maintain, recover or enhance plant and wildlife values. Refuge staff carefully considers any management techniques and employ them in varying degrees according to the situation.  Current management actions include: 

  • Annual surveys of the Lange's metalmark butterfly, Contra Costa wallflower, and the Antioch Dunes evening primrose.
  • A captive breeding program of the Lange's metalmark butterfly with Urban Wildlands group under Moorpark College's Butterfly Project in Simi Valley, CA
  • Native weed control via hand weeding, mechanical scraping, treating with herbicide, grazing and prescribed burning.
  • Sand importation to create new sand dunes.
  • Revegetation with endangered and a variety of native dune plants.
  • Firebreaks to contain prescribed burns and prevent spread of wildfires caused by trespassers.
  • Controlled public access to the refuge.
Learn more about the Lange's metalmark butterfly captive breeding program and the grazing program.
 Each national wildlife refuge has a conservation plan are called “comprehensive conservation plans” (CCPs). The purpose of a CCP is to specify a management direction for the refuge for the next 15 years. The goals, objectives, and strategies for improving refuge conditions—including the types of habitat we will provide, partnership opportunities, and management actions needed to achieve desired conditions – are described in the CCP. The Service’s preferred alternative for managing the refuge and its effects on the human environment, are described in the CCP as well.  Read Antioch Dunes NWR CCP.

The National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 defines a unifying mission for all refuges, including a process for determining compatible uses on refuges, and requiring that each refuge be managed according to a CCP. The NWRS Improvement Act expressly states that wildlife conservation is the priority of System lands and that the Secretary shall ensure that the biological integrity, diversity, and environmental health of refuge lands are maintained. Each refuge must be managed to fulfill the specific purposes for which the refuge was established and the System mission. The first priority of each refuge is to conserve, manage, and if needed, restore fish and wildlife populations and habitats according to its purpose.