The Dunes Center and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are teaming up to improve habitat conditions for the California Red-Legged Frog (Rana draytonii). Several man-made ponds are located throughout the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes National Wildlife Refuge. These ponds host not only the federally listed species of amphibian,but multitudes of birds, reptiles, mammals, and other threatened and endangered species of plants as well.
Dunes Center volunteers donated their time to repair and maintain enclosures protecting sensitive plants such as Marsh Sandwort and Watercress. Other plants in competition with the Sandwort and Watercress were removed, allowing the protected plants more space to grow. The removed vegetation was used to create brush piles for other animals in which to take shelter. Sandwort and Watercress are excellent habitat for the California red-legged frog – an important species in our local ecology whose well-being is threatened by habitat destruction and fragmentation, urbanization, residential development, reservoir construction, stream channelization, off-road vehicle activity, drought, exotic fishes, and possibly bullfrogs.
Projects like these are vital in achieving the Dunes Center’s mission of collaborative stewardship. Check out this link for volunteer opportunities with the Dunes Center to see how you can get involved!
Will Meyst – Educational Program Coordinator