CNLM Monitoring Provides Many Benefits
The Center for Natural Lands Management (CNLM) monitors various species of animals and plants on their preserves for multiple purposes. For example, at CNLM’s Lokern and Semitropic Ridge Preserves in Kern County, California, the abundance of small mammals is monitored annually to provide important information on (1) population trajectories of endangered species, (2) interactions among species, and (3) the effectiveness of management strategies. Perhaps a lesser-known benefit of monitoring is that it also provides valuable hands-on experience for agency personnel that want more experience with these rare species.
Personnel from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) have taken advantage of this opportunity on many occasions during the last decade. The latest example occurred in fall of 2017 when five employees of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and several other volunteer biologists accompanied CNLM Preserve Managers, Greg Warrick and Christopher Hauser during their small mammal live-trapping activities at the Lokern and Semitropic Ridge Preserves. The USFWS employees included Geoff Grisdale from the Kern National Wildlife Refuge and Lily Douglas, Dana Herman, Tim Ludwick, and Brian Arnold from the USFWS Sacramento Field Office. Live-trapping at CNLM’s preserves involves following strict protocols to ensure that there is minimal risk of harm or stress to the animals and that the personnel either have appropriate permits or are closely supervised by those who do. Although some of these biologists had considerable experience with live-trapping endangered kangaroo rats, for others it was their first time to see and handle these species in their natural habitat.
In 2017, a record number of endangered Tipton kangaroo rats were captured at Semitropic Ridge and a record number of small mammals (all species combined) were captured at Lokern. This provided many opportunities to see and handle various small mammals found in the San Joaquin Valley. For more information about CNLM’s Lokern and Semitropic Ridge Preserves, visit the ‘preserve’ tab on CNLM’s website. For more information on this trapping session from the perspective of a USFWS employee, see: https://www.fws.gov/sacramento/outreach/site_visit_insights/site_visit_lily_douglas.php
Photo Caption: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Dana Herman handles a Tipton kangaroo rat at CNLM’sSemitropic Ridge Preserve in Kern County, California. Photo courtesy of Lily Douglas, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.