Environmental Management

, Volume 18, Issue 6, pp 939–955 | Cite as

Laying the foundation for a comprehensive program of restoration for wildlife habitat in a riparian floodplain

  • Michael L. Morrison
  • Tracy Tennant
  • Thomas A. Scott
Environmental Auditing


We analyzed the past and current distribution and abundance of vegetation and wildlife to develop a wildlife habitat restoration plan for the Sweetwater Regional Park, San Diego County, California. Overall, there has been a substantial loss of native amphibians and reptiles, including four amphibians, three lizards, and 11 snake species. The small-mammal community was depauperate and dominated by the exotic house mouse (Mus musculus) and the native western harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys megalotis). It appeared that either house mice are exerting a negative influence on most native species or that they are responding positively to habitat degradation. There has apparently been a net loss of 13 mammal species, including nine insectivores and rodents, a rabbit, and three large mammals. Willow (Salix) cover and density and cottonwoods (Populus fremontii) had the highest number of positive correlations with bird abundance. There has been an overall net loss of 12 breeding bird species; this includes an absolute loss of 18 species and a gain of six species. A restoration plan is described that provides for creation and maintenance of willow riparian, riparian woodland, and coastal sage scrub vegetation types; guides for separation of human activities and wildlife habitats; and management of feral and exotic species of plants and animals.

Key words

Habitat modification Restoration Species losses Urban parks Wildlife habitat 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael L. Morrison
    • 1
  • Tracy Tennant
    • 1
  • Thomas A. Scott
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and ManagementUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.Integrated Hardwood Range Management Program Department of Earth SciencesUniversity of CaliforniaRiversideUSA

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