February 26, 2011 (Jamul) – Wildlife enthusiasts are needed to expand efforts of the San Diego Tracking Team, which collects data used to protect open space. On March 19 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon, the team will hold an “Animal Tracking for Habitat Conservation” hike at the Rancho Jamul Ecological Reserve.
The public is invited to join the tracking hike and an information meeting to learn how to become a member of the tracking team, which aims to recruit four or five individuals to serve as team leaders of new tracking teams in the south and southeast areas of San Diego County.
Tracking expert Barry Martin will lead the hike and informational session, showing you signs of animals present in the Reserve and explaining the role that tracking plays in wildlife and habitat conservation.
Wildlife present in the Reserve include the following:
Raptors are diverse and abundant at the Rancho Jamul ER due to the large, open grassland areas that provide foraging habitat. Raptors observed on the site include: Northern Harrierr, Peregrine Falcon, Prairie Falcon, Merlin, Golden Eagle, Burrowing Owl, and Red-tailed Hawk.
Other notable bird species that use the site include Grasshopper Sparrow, Least Bell's Vireo and California Gnatcatchers. Reptiles and ampibians include Coast Horned Lizard, Orange-throated Whiptail, Western Skink, Western Patch-nosed Snake, Two-striped Gartersnake, Red Diamond Rattlesnake and Western Spadefoot Toad.
Mammal species include Southern Mule Deer, Mountain Lion, Bobcat, Coyote, Gray Fox, numerous small mammals and 12 species of bats.
Known butterflies on the site include the Quino Checkerspot and the Hermes Copper. Notable plants include coast live oaks, Otay tarplant and San Diego thornmint.
Rancho Jamul Ecological Reserve is located in the eastern part of San Diego County between the towns of Jamul and Dulzura; Rancho Jamul can be found by following Eastbound Highway 94 (AKA Campo Road) from Spring Valley.
Directions Follow Highway 94 east through the town of Jamul and look for a Rancho Jamul sign immediately following the Rural Fire Station. After approximately two miles, you will find the entrance on the south/west side of Highway 94.
RSVPs are requested. To RSVP, contact Cathy Chadwick at firstname.lastname@example.org or 619-277-33605. For more information on the Rancho Jamul Ecological Reserve, see http://www.dfg.ca.gov/lands/er/region5/ranchojamul/index.html .