USGS Western Ecological Research Center

Home Who We Are Where We Are What We Do Products Search Outreach Jobs Contacts

Rare alluvial sands of El Monte Valley, California (San Diego County), support high herpetofaunal species richness and diversity, despite severe habitat disturbance

Released: 2016
Citation:
Richmond, JQ, CJ Rochester, NW Smith, JA Nordland, RN Fisher. 2016. Rare alluvial sands of El Monte Valley, California (San Diego County), support high herpetofaunal species richness and diversity, despite severe habitat disturbance. The Southwestern Naturalist 61(4): 294-306. doi: 10.1894/0038-4909-61.4.294

We characterized the species richness, diversity, and distribution of amphibians and reptiles inhabiting El Monte Valley, a heavily disturbed, alluvium-filled basin within the lower San Diego River in Lakeside, California. This rare habitat type in coastal southern California is designated as a critical sand resource by the state of California and is currently under consideration for a large-scale sand mining operation with subsequent habitat restoration. We conducted field surveys from June 2015 to May 2016 using drift fence lines with funnel traps, coverboard arrays, walking transects, and road driving. We recorded 1,208 total captures, revealing high species richness and diversity, but with marked unevenness in species' abundances. Snakes were the most species-rich taxonomic group (13 species representing 11 genera), followed by lizards (11 species representing 9 genera). After the southern Pacific rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus helleri), the California glossy snake (Arizona elegans occidentalis) was the second most frequently detected snake species (n = 23 captures). Amphibian species richness was limited to only three species in three genera. Despite the relatively limited 12-month sampling period, a longstanding drought, and severe habitat disturbance, our study demonstrates that El Monte Valley harbors a rich herpetofauna that includes many sensitive species.


Information about this product can be downloaded from this location:
http://www.bioone.org/doi/pdf/10.1894/0038-4909-61.4.294

Bookmark and Share

Share


Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo USA.gov logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information: webmaster@werc.usgs.gov

References to non-U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) products do not constitute an endorsement by the DOI.

* DOI and USGS link policies apply.