Conservancy Board member Mike Bradbury recently made an impassioned plea before the Sacramento City Council, urging the largest of buffers between Swainson’s hawk nesting trees and proposed urbanization. He described human intervention and activities as antithetical to successful Swainson’s hawk population. Then recently, giant garter snake expert Eric Hansen, who is part of the contractor team that conducts “biological effectiveness monitoring” on behalf of the Conservancy, noted that he must move his snake monitoring sites where there is frequent disturbance because he can see that far fewer snakes can be identified for monitoring purposes. He indicates the same is true for another NBHCP covered species, the Western pond turtle.
This testimony and other experiences compels the Conservancy to work extra hard at “reserve consolidation.” That is, taking care to assemble preserves into large blocks so as to minimize habitat disruption due to human activity. The “current preserve map” available on the Conservancy’s home page (left column under “Helpful Documents”) reveals progress in consolidating preserves into three areas. We are working overtime at present on a couple of land deals that will further advance the cause of preserve consolidation. Look for exciting announcements in this regard soon.