Preserve Stewardship and Management

Stewardship and Mitigation Land Management

The PCCA specializes in the stewardship and management of small preserves and mid-sized conservation easements, especially upland preserves (e.g., oak woodlands, sage scrubs, chaparral, and desert habitats) and grazing lands that are set aside to support raptors (e.g., Swainson’s hawk and burrowing owl) and meso-predators (e.g., American badger, kit fox).

Our capabilities and services include:

  • Management document review and critique
  • Baseline surveys to fulfill easement requirements
  • General (floral and faunal) biological surveys
  • Focused (floral and faunal) biological surveys
  • Infrastructure (e.g., fencing, signage, structure, roads, and trails) monitoring & management
  • Land stewardship, especially exotic vegetation control
  • Biological monitoring
  • Adaptive management

Our adaptive management program is based on consistency in data collection, including data collection techniques. Our biologists, exotic control specialists, and land stewards are not only experts in their chosen field but also dedicated to the resources they manage and protect. Together, these provide the data we need to evaluate management and monitoring techniques, which then allows us to adapt our management or monitoring plan to best suit on-site resources.

Biological Methodology

Our 30+ years of biological studies and our preserve management experience lend a high level of expertise in not only the performance of our biological monitoring responsibilities but also the ability to design methods based on standard, proven, sometimes simple and straightforward but often technologically advanced field techniques.  

A Summary of Our Enhanced Study Methods

  • Electronic bat detection and analysis (using Wildlife AcousticsTM and SonoBatTM software)
  • Mist netting (birds, bats)
  • Avian banding & recapture studies; line transect censuses; breeding bird surveys including area searches and focal methodologies (e.g., protocol surveys)
  • Radar tracking (analysis of migratory patterns and movement cycles)
  • Pitfall, turtle (via hoop net and sundeck rigs), and snake trapping
  • Mammal trapping (w/Sherman solid, Sherman perforated, Stoddard, and wire mesh traps incl. HavahartTM and TomahawkTM live traps)
  • Spotlight surveys (for large mammal and meso-predator population estimation)
  • Camera “trapping” – for extended-period passive surveillance (e.g., for Mohave ground squirrel)
  • Remote recording of bird and bat data using satellite data uploads

Examples of our exotic removal programs include:

Exotic removal and eradication targets:

  • South African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis)
  • Brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater)
  • Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus)
  • Red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii)
  • Red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans)
  • Introduced bass (e.g., Micropterus sp.)

Exotic Species Eradication, methods and example targets

  • Cowbird traps – Brown-headed Cowbird
  • Hand capture and gigging – Invasive frogs
  • Hoop nets, floating traps, hand capture – Aquatic turtles, crayfish
  • Riflery (shotgun, pistol, and rifle) – As appropriate
  • Seine netting – invasive fish and amphibians (incl. larvae)