Resource Management

Glenn looking out with binoculars (Ian Shive)

The refuge is currently being managed to preserve threatened and endangered species habitats, which includes protection from predators and invasive species.

Two small ponds were created with suitable edges to plant the federally endangered La Graciosa thistle, Gambel’s watercress, and marsh sandwort. The water depth and slopes were also shaped to be potential refugia for the benefit of the California red-legged frog.
The above-mentioned plant species have extremely small populations and narrow habitat requirements.  They are raised in greenhouses, transported to the refuge and fenced off from feral pigs and mule deer. The goal is for these plants population to stabilize around the periphery of the ponds without requiring intensive management.

The once-dynamic refuge dunes  would be  on the move were it not for non-native invasive species such as European beach grass and Veldt grass; these have anchored the dunes and changed the behavior of the entire system. The Service continues to work with partners to chemically and manually control these invasive species.

The Service continues to monitor Western snowy plovers on refuge property. Many of the nests are exclosed each season to increase nesting success by reducing depredation pressure.
 floating a plover egg 
  (biologist "floating" a snowy plover egg to determine days before hatching)