Endangered Species Recovery Program

Home | News | Publications | Species profiles | Data and maps | About | Staff | Links | Department of Biological Sciences | CSU Stanislaus

Recovery Plan for Upland Species of the San Joaquin Valley, California
Contents . Introduction . Species accounts . Recovery . Stepdown . Implementation . References . Appendix

III. RECOVERY

A. Objectives

The overall objectives of this recovery plan are to delist California jewelflower, palmate-bracted bird's-beak, Kern mallow, Hoover's woolly-star, San Joaquin woolly-threads, Bakersfield cactus, giant kangaroo rat, Fresno kangaroo rat, Tipton kangaroo rat, blunt-nosed leopard lizard, and San Joaquin kit fox; and achieve the long-term conservation of lesser saltscale, Bakersfield smallscale, Lost Hills saltbush, Vasek's clarkia, Temblor buckwheat, Tejon poppy, diamond-petaled California poppy, Munz's tidy-tips, Comanche Point layia, Jared's peppergrass, Merced monardella, Merced phacelia, oil neststraw, Ciervo Aegialian Scarab Beetle, San Joaquin Dune Beetle, Doyen's Dune Weevil, San Joaquin antelope squirrel, Short-nosed kangaroo rat, Riparian woodrat, Tulare grasshopper mouse, Buena Vista Lake shrew, riparian brush rabbit, and San Joaquin Le Conte's thrasher and other members of biotic communities occupied by the listed species in the San Joaquin Valley planning area.

Interim goals are to stabilize and protect populations and to conduct research necessary to refine reclassification and recovery criteria and subsequently reclassify California jewelflower, palmate-bracted bird's-beak, Kern mallow, San Joaquin woolly-threads, Bakersfield cactus, giant kangaroo rat, Fresno kangaroo rat, Tipton kangaroo rat, blunt-nosed leopard lizard, and San Joaquin kit fox from endangered to threatened. Reclassification will be appropriate when each taxon is no longer in danger of extinction throughout a significant portion of its range.

1. Ecosystem-Level Strategy

To meet the objective of delisting 11 species and ensuring long-term conservation of 23 other species, this recovery plan uses an ecosystem-level strategy. This strategy establishes a network of reserves and conservation areas that represents all natural communities in San Joaquin upland ecosystems. Of necessity, the ecosystem-level strategy is shaped by the realities of existing communities; by available information on biology, distribution, and population statuses; and by the current and anticipated processes that will affect both natural and human-altered landscapes. The strategy has 10 major elements:

  1. The primary focus of recovery processes is on publicly-owned lands whenever possible. Where conservation of a species requires preservation of private lands, it will be necessary to seek cooperation from private individuals and entities to sell lands or easements, or, to enter into cooperative (voluntary) programs to maintain and enhance habitat values for certain species while traditional uses of the land continue. Cooperative programs are emphasized over land acquisition or easements.
  2. Wherever possible, conservation efforts are focused on fewer, larger blocks of land rather than smaller, more numerous parcels. Several advantages to this approach are enumerated by the San Joaquin Valley Biological Technical Committee (in litt. 1993). The most important are that larger natural areas provide greater species and physical diversities and larger, less vulnerable species populations; minimize edge between natural and developed land thereby reducing pest and other problems at this boundary; and reduce management costs.
  3. Wherever possible and needed, blocks of conservation lands should be connected by natural land or land with compatible uses that allow for movement of species between blocks.
  4. Greater emphasis is placed on two groups of species as defined below:
    1. Umbrella Species. The San Joaquin kit fox occurs in nearly all the natural communities used by other species featured in this plan, but these others are much more restricted in their choice of habitats. The broad distribution and requirement for relatively large areas of habitat mean conservation of the kit fox will provide an umbrella of protection for many other species that require less habitat. Therefore, the San Joaquin kit fox is an umbrella species for purposes of this recovery plan. Many of its habitat management and research needs are given higher priority in recovery actions at the ecosystem level than those of other species because it is one of the species that will be hardest to recover. Fulfilling the San Joaquin kit fox's habitat management and research needs also meets those of many other species.

    2. Keystone Species. The giant kangaroo rat and, to a lesser extent, the subspecies of the San Joaquin kangaroo rat are keystone species in their communities (Shiffman 1994, Goldingay et. al. 1997). In most places where they occur, the precincts (area over and immediately around the burrow system) of giant kangaroo rats dominate the landscape. The activities of these animals promote more nitrogen-rich and abundant growth of plants on the precincts (Williams et al. 1993b). Their burrowing modifies the surface topography of the landscape and changes the mineral composition of the soil. Their burrows provide refuges and living places for many small animals, including blunt-nosed leopard lizards and San Joaquin antelope squirrels (Williams and Kilburn 1991). Their seed caching behaviors disperse and plant seeds and alter the floral composition of the community (Schiffman 1994). Their precincts provide a favored microhabitat for the growth of California jewelflowers and San Joaquin woolly-threads (Cypher 1994a).

      giant kangaroo rats are the most abundant mammal in their community, and are the favored prey of San Joaquin kit foxes and many other predators (Williams 1992). The San Joaquin kangaroo rat has a similar but less dramatic role in its communities (Williams 1985). The giant kangaroo rat and San Joaquin kangaroo rat, therefore, are considered to be keystone species in this recovery plan. Protection of these keystone species is a high priority because they provide important or essential components of the biological niche (meaning all the physical and biological factors required for a particular species to live, and its way of living) of some other listed and candidate species.

  5. Wherever and whenever possible, management of habitat for featured species should be achieved in harmony with traditional land uses and processes such as seasonal livestock grazing, low impact petroleum and mineral exploration and extraction, and hunting and wildland recreation.
  6. For species vulnerable to traditional land uses, and for those with highly restricted geographic ranges and specialized habitat requirements, there is no recourse but to appropriately manage their existing habitat in smaller, specialty reserves of natural land, both within larger conservation areas and as small reserves surrounded by developed land.
  7. Existing natural lands occupied by featured species are targeted for conservation in preference to unoccupied natural land and retired farmland. This goal greatly reduces or eliminates the need for expensive and untested restoration work to make the land suitable for habitation by these species.
  8. Species for which sufficient, occupied natural land does not exist, but is needed to increase population size or promote movement between populations, can be recovered by carefully coordinating agricultural land retirement programs with endangered species recovery. Directing the location and size of blocks of retired farmland can contribute greatly to the potential success of recovery of some species while minimizing costs and conflicts with other land uses.
  9. For species such as the San Joaquin kit fox that can live in or move through the farmland matrix, enhancement of those features of the landscape that engender successful living and movements from population centers on the larger islands of natural lands on the Valley floor to the Valley's perimeter will greatly enhance the chances of recovery. This linkage can be accomplished in part through a safe harbor program that promotes and enhances populations of some species on and movements through farmland while permitting incidental take of listed species by farming activities (Hawkins 1995, Keystone Center 1995). A safe harbor program was recently proposed for the San Joaquin Valley by the American Farmland Trust (Scott-Graham 1994). The Endangered Species Recovery Program has collaborated with the American Farmland Trust in proposing a focused safe harbor program featuring the San Joaquin kit fox. This focused program is a critical element of the recovery strategy.
  10. This recovery strategy is complementary wherever possible with ongoing Habitat Conservation Plans and provides guidance to local governments in the development of new Habitat Conservation Plans.

This ecosystem-level strategy is in large part based on the biological imperatives for recovery of the San Joaquin kit fox, the umbrella species for this recovery effort. Section II.L.6 expands on this species' recovery goal: establishment of a viable kit fox metapopulation through protection and management of a system of core and satellite populations on public and private lands throughout its range. Recovery of the kit fox will not automatically lead to recovery of all other sensitive species in San Joaquin Valley ecosystems. However, it provides a blueprint for ecosystem recovery that will be complemented by specific recovery actions on natural communities for species with special needs that have little relationship to kit fox recovery needs. Implementation of this strategy retains the advantages of ecosystem-level conservation: involving all segments of society in recovery actions; preserving all or most species simultaneously; saving effort and money; and increasing the chances that recovery efforts will succeed.

B. Recovery Criteria

Recovery criteria for listed plant and animal species are summarized in Table 4. Site-specific protection requirements to meet these delisting criteria are summarized in Table 5. Measures to ensure conservation of candidate species and species of concern are listed in Table 6. For several of the species featured in this plan, one or more categories of information needed to set firm recovery or conservation criteria are not available, necessitating interim criteria of stabilizing existing populations and conducting research necessary to determine reclassification or delisting criteria.

In Table 4, progress of species in achieving population goals depends on monitoring showing "stability"  or "increasing numbers" during a precipitation cycle, which is a period when annual rainfall includes average to 35 percent above-average through greater than 35 percent below-average and back to average or greater. The direction of change (average to above or below average) is unimportant in this criterion. Existing data for some arid-land species show that both drought and periods of above-average precipitation cause severe population declines if extended for more than 1 year (Endangered Species Recovery Program, unpubl. data). Because the populations of most or all species included here fluctuate dramatically, stability is a relative term meaning the statistically same population size during the average phase of a precipitation cycle (anticipated to be about 20 years). Increasing population size means that the population has increased over the previous or baseline year, measured during the specified portion of a precipitation cycle. Range wide population monitoring programs will have to be established for all species to measure progress in meeting recovery criteria. For species with existing data on population statuses spanning 1 or more years, these data can be included in measuring population recovery goals if it is deemed scientifically valid and representative. Thus, some species can be downlisted or delisted quickly once other criteria, such as habitat protection, are met.

Listed Plant Species.--Delisting criteria for the plant species currently listed as endangered include requirements for protecting additional habitat, assurances that protected sites are being managed appropriately, and monitoring to show stable or increasing populations. Attainment of downlisting or delisting criteria does not automatically qualify a species for reclassification. A status review must be conducted after the criteria have been met to determine whether or not reclassification is appropriate.

Plant Species of Concern.--Existing information for the species of concern is insufficient at this time to determine whether or not they qualify for listing as endangered or threatened. Thus, the actions necessary for these species include surveys in suitable habitat and evaluation of threats. In certain cases, management actions are recommended to counter known threats and stabilize populations. Additional information on species of concern also can be collected during field surveys. The strategy for plant species of concern is based on the assumption that if populations remain throughout the historical range, are secure from threats, and are not declining, formal listing may not be necessary.

Listed Animal Species.--For listed animal species, downlisting criteria are based on the assumption that extinction is not imminent if potentially viable metapopulations are found at three or more sites representing different geographic and environmental variations. In the absence of specific information to the contrary, metapopulations are assumed to be potentially viable if there is enough continuous, occupied habitat to sustain 5,000 or more adults during average years in a period when annual rainfall cycles from average or above-average through below-average levels and back to at least average. Criteria for individual species are altered from this basic model by: the amounts of potential or actual habitat in existence; information on population dynamics (e.g., San Joaquin kangaroo rat populations fluctuate so dramatically that larger average population sizes are required); information on species densities in various habitats; and extent of historical and current geographic distribution. To the maximum extent possible, recovery areas have been centered on or confined to lands in public or conservation ownership. Where this is not possible, existing natural lands (most with limited development potential) first have been targeted for protection.

Candidate Animal Species and Species of Concern.--Existing information for the riparian brush rabbit, Riparian woodrat, and Buena Vista Lake shrew is ample to support a proposal to list them under the Act. Even for these three species, where existing information is sufficient to support listing as threatened or endangered, additional information on distribution and habitat is needed to develop a complete conservation and protection strategy and establish quantitative criteria for their restoration or long-term conservation. Thus, the actions necessary for these candidate species and other species of concern include surveys in suitable habitat and, for some, evaluation of threats. Management actions to counter known threats are recommended in individual accounts. The protection strategies for most candidate animals and species of concern are based on the assumption that if populations remain throughout remnants of the historical range, are secure from threats, and are not declining, formal listing may not be necessary.

Table 4. Generalized recovery criteria for federally-listed plants and animals. Though not explicitly stated, delisting criteria include meeting all of the downlisting criteria. Range-wide population monitoring should be provided for in all management plans. See individual species accounts for discussion of recovery strategy and the introduction to this section for a discussion of the bases of the criteria.

SpeciesRecovery StepSecure and protect specified recovery areas from incompatible usesManagement Plan approved and implemented for recovery areas that include survival of the species as an objectivePopulation monitoring in specified recovery areas shows:
California jewelflowerDownlist to threatenedNinety-five percent of occupied habitat on public lands; 75 percent of population and occupied habitat in Santa Barbara CanyonFor all protected areas identified as important to continued survivalStable or increasing populations through precipitation cycle
DelistNinety percent of population and occupied habitat in Santa Barbara Canyon; one population each on the San Joaquin Valley floor and eastern Valley foothillsFor all protected areas identified as important to continued survivalNo decline after downlisting, if declining, determine cause and reverse trend
palmate-bracted bird's-beakDownlist to threatenedNinety-five percent of occupied habitat on public land; 75 percent or more of population and occupied area and upland nesting habitat for pollinators within 300 meters (984 feet) of the population margins at Springtown Alkali Sink; two or more populations in the San Joaquin ValleyFor all protected areas identified as important to continued survivalStable or increasing populations through precipitation cycle
DelistEight or more distinct populations, including two or more in the San Joaquin Valley; 90 percent or more of the Springtown Alkali Sink population and habitatFor all protected areas identified as important to continued survivalNo decline after downlisting, if declining, determine cause and reverse trend
Kern mallowDownlist to threatenedNinety-five percent of occupied habitat on public lands; 75 percent of population and 75 percent of occupied habitat in LokernFor Lokern AreaStable or increasing populations through precipitation cycle
DelistNinety percent or more each of population and occupied habitat in Lokern; two or more distinct populations outside the Lokern Natural AreaFor all protected areas identified as important to continued survivalNo decline after downlisting, if declining, determine cause and reverse trend
Hoover's woolly-starDelistSeventy-five percent of occupied habitat on public lands in each of the four metapopulations; 260 hectares (640 acres) or more of occupied habitat on San Joaquin Valley floorFor all protected areas identified as important to continued survivalStable or increasing in four metapopulations and San Joaquin Valley floor population through one precipitation cycle; if declining, determine cause and reverse trend
San Joaquin woolly-threadsDownlist to threatenedNinety-five percent of occupied habitat on public landFor all protected areas identified as important to continued survivalStable or increasing in all protected areas through one precipitation cycle
DelistTwo hundred and sixty hectares (640 acres) or more of occupied habitat in the Lost Hills; one or more other sites on San Joaquin Valley floor of 260 hectares (640 acres) or moreFor all protected areas identified as important to continued survivalNo decline after down listing, if declining, determine cause and reverse trend
Bakersfield cactusDownlist to threatenedNinety-five percent of the occupied habitat on public land; 75 percent of Bakersfield cactus clumps and 75 percent of the occupied habitat in the Caliente-Bena Hills, Comanche Point, Kern Bluff, Sand Ridge, and Wheeler Ridge areasFor all protected areas identified as important to continued survivalStable or increasing populations at all protected sites for a 5-year period
DelistNinety percent of existing clumps and occupied habitat in the above-specified areas; and the Fuller Acres, Cottonwood Creek, Granite Station, and Kern Canyon populations; 100 or more clumps each in other populations north and south of the Kern RiverFor all protected areas identified as important to continued survivalAll protected populations show evidence of reproduction
giant kangaroo ratDownlist to threatenedAll occupied lands in Carrizo Plain Natural Area and Ciervo-Panoche Natural Area; western Kern County areas, as specified in recovery strategyAll protected areas identified as important to continued survival including the Carrizo Plain Natural AreaDuring 5-year period no greater than 20 percent change in population size during years without drought or greater than 35 percent above average precipitation
DelistOne hundred percent of occupied habitat on public lands in the Cuyama Valley, San Juan Creek Valley and Kettleman HillsaPublic lands in Cuyama Valley and Kettleman HillsStable or increasing populations for the Carrizo, Panoche, and western Kern Co. metapopulations through one precipitation cycle
Fresno kangaroo ratDownlist to threatenedOne hundred percent of occupied habitat on public or conservation lands at three or more distinct sites, each no less than about 384 hectares (950 acres) of usable habitatFor all inhabited areas identified as important to continued survivalPopulation densities in 3 or more populations do not fall below 2 kangaroo rats per hectare (1 per acre) and have a mean density of 10 or more per hectare (4 or more/acre) during one precipitation cycle
DelistOne additional site with about 1,012 hectares (2,500 acres) or more of occupied habitat, with a total of no less than 2,164 hectares (5,350 acres) of occupied habitatFor all protected areas identified as important to continued survivalProtected sites have a mean density of 10 kangaroo rats per hectare (4 per acre) during a complete precipitation cycle
Tipton kangaroo ratDownlist to threatenedThree or more distinct areas with 2,000 hectares (4,940 acres) or more of contiguous, occupied habitat, with 30 percent each or more of the minimum acreage in public or conservation ownershipFor all protected areas identified as important to continued survivalStable or increasing populations through one precipitation cycle
DelistA total of 9,000 hectares (22,230 acres) hectares or more of occupied habitat in public or conservation ownershipFor all protected areas identified as important to continued survivalProtected sites have a mean density of 10 kangaroo rats per hectare (4 per acre) during a complete precipitation cycle
blunt-nosed leopard lizardDownlist to threatenedFive or more areas, each of about 2,428 hectares (5,997 acres) or more of contiguous, occupied habitat, including one each on: Valley floor in Merced or Madera Counties; Valley floor in Tulare or Kern Counties; foothills of the Ciervo-Panoche Natural Area, foothills of western Kern County, and the Carrizo Plain Natural AreaFor all protected areas identified as important to continued survivalEach protected area has a mean density of two or more lizards per hectare (one per acre) through one precipitation cycle
DelistThree additional areas with about 2,428 hectares (5,997 acres) or more of contiguous, occupied habitat, one on the Valley floor, one along the western Valley edge in Kings or Fresno Counties, and one in Upper Cuyama ValleyFor all protected areas identified as important to continued survivalEach protected area has a mean density of two or more lizards per hectare through one precipitation cycle
San Joaquin kit foxDownlist to threatenedThe three core populations, Carrizo Natural Area, western Kern County, and Ciervo-Panoche Area; three satellite populationsFor all protected areas identified as important to continued survivalStable or increasing populations in the three core areas through one precipitation cycle; population interchange between one or more core populations and the three satellite populations
DelistSeveral additional satellite populations (number dependent on results of research) encompassing as much as possible of the environmental and geographic variation of the historic geographic rangeFor all protected areas identified as important to continued survivalStable or increasing populations in the three core areas and three or more of the satellite areas during one precipitation cycle

Table 5. Site-specific protection requirements to meet delisting criterial for the six federally-listed plants and five federally-listed animal species. Protection levels apply only to any lands specified in the ownership column.

SpeciesSite NameCountyOwnershipProtection Level
California jewelflowerCarrizo PlainSan Luis ObispoUSBLM/CDFG/The Nature Conservancy95 percent of occupied habitat
Kreyenhagen HillsFresnoUSBLM95 percent of occupied habitat
San Joaquin Valley


1. valley flooranyany
260 hectares (640 acres)
2. eastern foothillsanyany
260 hectares (640 acres)
Santa Barbara CanyonSanta BarbaraUSBLM/private90 percent of plants and occupied habitat
palmate-bracted bird's-beakColusa National Wildlife Refuge ColusaUSFWS95 percent of occupied habitat
Delevan National Wildlife RefugeColusaUSFWS95 percent of occupied habitat
Sacramento National Wildlife RefugeColusa/GlennUSFWS95 percent of occupied habitat
San Joaquin Valley


1. Alkali Sink Ecological Reserve-Mendota Wildlife AreaFresnoCDFG 95 percent of occupied habitat
2. other (including western Madera County)anyany260 hectares (640 acres)
Springtown Alkali SinkAlamedaCDFG/City of Livermore/ Federal Communications Commission/private90 percent of plants and occupied habitat
Central Valleyanyany2 population, each about 260 hectares (640 acres)
Kern mallowLokernKernUSBLM/Center for Natural Lands Management/CDFG/private90 percent of plants and occupied habitat
other (if Kern mallow positively identified elsewhere)Kernany2 populations, each about 260 hectares (640 acres)
Hoover's woolly-starAntelope Plain-Lost Hills-SemitropicKernUSBLM/The Nature Conservancy75 percent of occupied habitat
Carrizo Plain-Elkhorn Plain-Temblor Range-Caliente Mountains-Cuyama Valley-Sierra Madre MountainsSan Luis Obispo/Santa BarbaraUSBLM/CDFG/The Nature Conservancy/U.S. Forest Service75 percent of occupied habitat
Kettleman HillsFresno/KingsUSBLM75 percent of occupied habitat
Lokern-Elk Hills-Buena Vista Hills-Coles Levee-Taft-MaricopaKernUSBLM/CDFG/Coles Levee Ecosystem Preserve/U.S. Department of Energy/The Nature Conservancy/Occidental75 percent of occupied habitat
San Joaquin Valley floor (may be within above areas including Alkali Sink Ecological Reserve)anyany260 hectares (640 acres)
San Joaquin woolly-threadsCarrizo Plain-Elkhorn PlainSan Luis ObispoUSBLM/CDFG/The Nature Conservancy95 percent of occupied habitat
Jacalitos HillsFresnoUSBLM95 percent of occupied habitat
Kettleman HillsFresno/KingsUSBLM95 percent of occupied habitat
Lost HillsKernprivate260 hectares (640 acres)
Panoche HillsFresno/San BenitoUSBLM95 percent of occupied habitat
San Joaquin Valley floor (may be within Lost Hills)anyany260 hectares (640 acres)
Bakersfield cactusCaliente-Bena HillsKernprivate90 percent of clumps and occupied habitat
Comanche PointKernprivate90 percent of clumps and occupied habitat
Cottonwood CreekKernprivate90 percent of clumps and occupied habitat
Fuller AcresKernprivate90 percent of clumps and occupied habitat
Granite StationKernprivate90 percent of clumps and occupied habitat
Kern BluffsKernprivate/Kern Co.90 percent of clumps and occupied habitat
Kern CanyonKernprivate90 percent of clumps and occupied habitat
Metropolitan Bakersfield south of Kern RiverKernprivate100 clumps
north of Kern RiverKernprivate100 clumps
Sand Ridge KernThe Nature Conservancy/private90 percent of clumps and occupied habitat
Wheeler RidgeKernprivate/California Department of Water Resources90 percent of clumps and occupied habitat
giant kangaroo ratCiervo-Panoche Natural AreaFresno, San BenitoUSBLM/CDFG/Privateentire metapopulation
Western Kern County Kern

1. Lokern Area Kern USBLM/CDFG/California Department of Water Resources/U.S. Department of Energy/The Nature Conservancy/private90 percent of extant historical habitat
2. Occidental of Elk Hills Kern USBLM/CDFG/California Department of Water Resources/U.S. Department of Energy/The Nature Conservancy/private90 percent of extant historical habitat (all in Buena Vista/McKittrick Valleys)
3. Naval Petroleum Reserve-2 Kern USBLM/CDFG/California Department of Water Resources/U.S. Department of Energy/The Nature Conservancy/private80 percent of extant historical habitat (all in Buena Vista Valley)
4. Other areas with natural land

80 percent of extant historical habitat
Carrizo Plain Natural AreaSan Luis ObispoUSBLM/CDFG/The Nature Conservancyentire metapopulation
San Juan Creek ValleySan Luis ObispoUSBLM/CDFG/The Nature Conservancyentire metapopulation
Upper Cuyama ValleySan Luis Obispo, Santa BarbaraUSBLM/CDFG/The Nature Conservancyentire metapopulation
Kettleman HillsKings, FresnoUSBLMentire metapopulation
Fresno kangaroo ratWestern Madera CountyMaderaprivategreater than or equal to 1,012 hectares (2,500 acres) of occupied habitat
Kerman & Alkali Sink Ecological ReservesFresnoCDFGgreater than or equal to 384 hectares (950 acres) each of occupied habitat
Lemoore Naval Air StationKings, FresnoDepartment of Defense (U.S. Navy)greater than or equal to 384 hectares (950 acres)of occupied habitat
Tipton kangaroo ratPixley National Wildlife Refuge-Allensworth NaturalAreaTulare, KernUSFWS/CDFG/privategreater than or equal to 2,000 hectares (4,942acres) of contiguous, occupied habitat
Semitropic Ridge Natural AreaKernUSFWS/CDFG/The Nature Conservancy/privategreater than or equal to 2,000 hectares (4,942acres) of contiguous, occupied habitat
Kern FanKernKern County Water Agencygreater than or equal to 2,000 hectares (4,942acres) of contiguous, occupied habitat
blunt-nosed leopard lizardnorthern Valley floorMerced or Maderaprivategreater than or equal to 2,428 hectares (6,000acres) contiguous, occupied habitat
western edge of ValleyFresno, San BenitoUSBLM/privategreater than or equal to 2,428 hectares (6,000acres) contiguous, occupied habitat
southern Valley floorTulareUSFWS/CDFG/privategreater than or equal to 2,428 hectares (6,000acres) contiguous, occupied habitat
west-central edge of ValleyKings, Fresno USBLM/privategreater than or equal to 2,428 hectares (6,000acres) contiguous, occupied habitat
southern Valley floorKernUSFWS/CDFG/The Nature Conservancy/CaliforniaDepartment of Water Resources/privategreater than or equal to 2,428 hectares (6,000acres) contiguous, occupied habitat
western Kern CountyKernUSBLM/CDFG/Kern County Water Agency/CaliforniaDepartment of Water Resources/Department of Energy/Center for NaturalLands Management/privategreater than or equal to 2,428 hectares (6,000acres) contiguous, occupied habitat
Carrizo Plain Natural AreaSan Luis ObispoUSBLM/CDFG/The Nature Conservancyentire metapopulation
Upper Cuyama ValleySan Luis Obispo/Santa BarbaraUSFS/USBLM/privateentire metapopulation
San Joaquin kit foxCiervo-Panoche Natural AreaFresno, San BenitoUSBLM/CDFG/private90 percent of existing potential habitat
western Kern CountyKernUSBLM/CDFG/Kern County Water Agency/CaliforniaDepartment of Water Resources/U.S. Department of Energy/Center forNatural Lands Management/private90 percent of existing potential habitat
Carrizo Plain Natural AreaSan Luis ObispoUSBLM/CDFG/The Nature Conservancy/private100 percent of existing potential habitat
greater than or equal to 9 satellite populations:

80 percent of existing potential habitat
northern range and Valley edges Alameda, Contra Costa, San Joaquin, Stanislausvarious public and private80 percent of existing potential habitat
northern Valley floor Merced, Madera various public and private80 percent of existing potential habitat
central Valley floor Fresno various public and private80 percent of existing potential habitat
west-central Valley edge Fresno, Kings various public and private80 percent of existing potential habitat
southeast Valley floor Tulare, Kern various public and private80 percent of existing potential habitat
Kettleman Hills Fresno, Kings, Kern various public and private80 percent of existing potential habitat
southwestern Valley floor Kern various public and private80 percent of existing potential habitat
Salinas-Pajaro Rivers watershed Monterey, Santa Benito, San Luis Obispo various public and private80 percent of existing potential habitat
upper Cuyama ValleySanta Barbara, San Luis Obispovarious public and private80 percent of existing potential habitat

Table 6. Generalized criteria for long-term conservation of California-listed and federal candidate species and species of concern. Range-wide population monitoring should be provided for in all management plans. See individual accounts for discussion of conservation strategy and the introduction to this section for a discussion of the basis of the criteria.

SpeciesSecure and protect specified recovery areas from incompatible usesManagement Plan approved and implemented for recovery areas that include survival of the species as an objectivePopulation monitoring in specified recovery areas shows:
lesser saltscaleNinety-five percent of occupied habitat on public lands; five or more populations, including one or more each in Butte and Kern Counties, and one in Fresno, Madera, or Merced CountyFor all protected areasOne thousand or more individuals in years favorable for growth; all protected populations are stable or increasing through one precipitation cycle
Bakersfield smallscaleFive or more disjunct populationsFor all protected areas One thousand or more individuals in years favorable for growth; all protected populations are stable or increasing through one precipitation cycle
Lost Hills saltbushNinety-five percent of occupied habitat on public lands; five or more populations, including at least one each in Fresno, Kern, and San Luis Obispo CountiesFor all protected areasOne thousand or more individuals in years favorable for growth; all protected populations are stable or increasing through one precipitation cycle
Vasek's clarkiaFive distinct populations occurring in at least three separate canyons For all protected areasOne thousand or more individuals in years favorable for growth; all protected populations are stable or increasing through one precipitation cycle
Temblor buckwheatNinety-five percent of occupied habitat on public lands; five or more populations, including one each in Kern, Monterey, and San Luis Obispo CountiesFor all protected populationsOne thousand or more individuals in years favorable for growth; all protected populations are stable or increasing through one precipitation cycle
Tejon poppyNinety-five percent of occupied habitat on public lands; five or more populations, including one each on the east, south, and west edges of the southern San Joaquin ValleyFor all protected sitesOne thousand or more individuals in years favorable for growth; all protected populations are stable or increasing through one precipitation cycle
diamond-petaled California poppyFive or more populations, including one each in the northern, central, and southern portions of the historical geographical rangeFor all protected sitesOne thousand or more individuals in years favorable for growth; all protected populations are stable or increasing through one precipitation cycle
Comanche Point layiaFive or more populations, including one each in the Bena Hills, Comanche-Tejon Hills, and on the San Joaquin Valley floorFor all protected sitesOne thousand or more individuals in years favorable for growth; all protected populations are stable or increasing through one precipitation cycle
Munz's tidy-tipsNinety-five percent of occupied habitat on public lands; five or more populations, including one each in Fresno, Kern, and San Luis Obispo Counties and on the southern San Joaquin Valley floor in Kern CountyFor all protected sitesOne thousand or more individuals in years favorable for growth; all protected populations are stable or increasing through one precipitation cycle
Jared's peppergrassNinety-five percent of occupied habitat on public lands; five or more populations of each of the two subspecies, including at least one population of the Carrizo peppergrass subspecies outside of the Carrizo Plain Natural AreaFor all protected sitesOne thousand or more individuals in years favorable for growth; all protected populations are stable or increasing through one precipitation cycle
Merced monardellaFive or more populationsFor all protected populationsOne thousand or more individuals in years favorable for growth; all protected populations are stable or increasing through one precipitation cycle
Merced phaceliaFive or more populationsFor all protected populationsOne thousand or more individuals in favorable years; all protected populations are stable or increasing through one precipitation cycle
oil neststrawNinety-five percent of occupied habitat on public lands; five or more populations, including at least one in Kern County outside of the Elk HillsFor all protected populationsOne thousand or more individuals in years favorable for growth; all protected populations are stable or increasing through one precipitation cycle
dune insects (Ciervo Aegialian Scarab Beetle, Doyen's Dune Weevil, San Joaquin Dune Beetle)Five occupied sites for each species (either as co-occupied or allopatric sites) collectively providing 150 hectares (370 acres) of inhabited sands and sand dunes, with the smallest inhabited site providing no less than 0.2 hectare (0.5 acre) of sand habitat, three of the sites must be fully protected from development For all protected populationsContinuing presence at each occupied site
San Joaquin antelope squirrelCarrizo Plain Natural Area, Lokern-Elk Hills, and Ciervo-Panoche Natural Area each have a minimum of about 6,070 hectares (15,000 acres) of occupied habitat; and Pixley National Wildlife Refuge-Allensworth-Semitropic Ridge Natural Areas each have of minimum of about 2,400 hectares (5,930 acres) of occupied habitatFor all populations on public and conservation landsStable or increasing populations through one precipitation cycle
Short-nosed kangaroo ratCarrizo Plain Natural Area, western Kern County, and Ciervo-Panoche Natural Area, each with 2,000 hectares (4,940 acres) or more of occupied habitat; South Grasslands populationFor all populations on public and conservation landsMean population density of six or more kangaroo rats per hectare during average years in precipitation cycle
Riparian woodratThree or more areas of occupied habitat each supporting 400 or more individuals, with a total population of 5,000 or more independent individuals (i.e., excluding dependent young) during average precipitation yearsFor all populationsMean size of independent population no less than 400 individuals in each population in average years through 1 precipitation cycle
Tulare grasshopper mouseThose areas specified as the habitat protection goals for the giant kangaroo rat and blunt-nosed leopard lizardFor all protected areasContinuing presence on the Carrizo Plain Natural Area, Lokern-Elk Hills area, Ciervo-Panoche Natural Area, and two blocks on the Valley floor
Buena Vista Lake shrewThree or more disjunct occupied sites collectively with at least 2,000 hectares (4,940 acres) of occupied habitatFor all protected areas Continuing presence at known occupied sites
riparian brush rabbitThree or more sites, each with no less than 300 adults during average yearsFor all protected sitesPopulations sizes of 300 or more adults during average years during a precipitation cycle at each of 3 or more sites
San Joaquin Le Conte's thrasherSaltbush communities on public lands, including Naval Petroleum Reserve in California-2, Occidental of Elk Hills, the Lokern Natural Area, and the Carrizo Plain Natural Area; and in southwestern Kern County For all public lands and the inhabited areas covered in the Kern County Valley Floor Habitat Conservation PlanStable or increasing through one precipitation cycle

C. Recovery Priorities

1. General Ranking Categories

Actions necessary to recover a species are ranked in three categories:

Priority 1
An action that must be taken to prevent extinction or prevent the species from declining irreversibly in the foreseeable future.
Priority 2
An action that must be taken to prevent a significant decline in species population or habitat quality, or some other significant negative impact short of extinction.
Priority 3
All other actions necessary to meet the recovery objectives.

In assigning priorities to protection of natural areas and establishment of reserves, each site was evaluated in the context of all other sites supporting the species, and the priority assigned based on the impact the development of that site alone would have on the species chances of recovery. For some of the larger sites, the entire area may not warrant the priority ranking of some subset of sites that are important to fewer species and for which a speciality reserve may be needed. Yet, in the absence of more information, the entire area was assigned the highest priority. In making management and administrative decisions, each site's importance must be considered in the context of what has and is likely to happen to all other sites, but those events cannot be forecast now.

2. Priority Ranking Emphasis

The ecosystem-level strategy outlined in the beginning of this chapter focuses on establishing a network of reserves and conservation areas by protecting natural communities, strategically retiring farmland and using a focused safe harbor program on private lands. In this document, habitat protection means ensuring appropriate uses of land to maintain and enhance species habitat values. Habitat protection does not necessarily require land acquisition or easement. There are many other ways to achieve the same end while keeping land in private ownership and fostering continuing, traditional uses that contribute to the local and national economies (Keystone Center 1995).

To ensure appropriate uses of conservation and mitigation land to maintain and enhance species habitat values requires, in most cases, active management of the land. To this date, land acquired in the Valley as mitigation for project-related habitat losses, and some parcels acquired from conservation funds, are mostly not being actively managed to maintain or enhance listed species populations. Therefore, if San Joaquin Valley species are to be recovered, more emphasis must be placed on habitat management. There already are substantial historical habitats for a majority of species featured in this plan in public ownership, though they mostly are not sufficiently protected from catastrophes, such as flooding and excessive soil erosion, nor appropriately monitored and managed to maintain or enhance populations of featured species. Developing necessary habitat management procedures must not be neglected in favor of acquisition of additional potential habitat.

There are reasons to place increased emphasis on habitat management research:

  1. Change in ownership from private to public usually is accompanied by a change in land use. For natural lands, the principal use typically is ranching. Cessation of grazing upon purchase has frequently been followed by decline of listed species populations (though the magnitude is difficult to demonstrate on many parcels because no baseline population censuses were conducted before change in land use, and no quantitative monitoring programs were established). Grazing and other uses of land that affect the structure and composition of the community may be important habitat elements for the object species--until proven otherwise it is prudent to assume that if the species are resident, the existing land uses (at some level) do not pose an immediate threat to species survival (Williams and Germano 1993).
  2. Many parcels acquired as mitigation are too small and scattered to manage effectively. They remain idle until critical masses of land and management funds can accumulate. Meanwhile, habitat quality and species populations decline or disappear, instead of increase.
  3. When dealing with several listed species affected by a permitted project, some may have conflicting habitat management needs--managing for one species or a guild (a group of species with a common need for a particular habitat or other niche component) may negatively affect another species or guild (Williams and Germano 1993). More and better data are needed for developing a protection strategy that ensures that all sensitive species will benefit from selected management actions.

For some species, their statuses have deteriorated to a point where the only way they can be saved is by immediate implementation of programs that employ adaptive management (conduct important biological research, monitor and evaluate outcomes; readjust management direction accordingly). For many of the other species, the risk is great that if information needs are not attended to soon, their statuses will be similarly jeopardized. Habitat management has high priority for half of the 34 species, though at least 11 of the other 17 also have habitat management research as a high priority, indicating that information is insufficient to develop appropriate management prescriptions today.

Information Contact
Bookmark and Share