9 Common Birds in the Santa Lucia Mountains

A California Scrub Jay cocks its head at the camera. Photo by Christy Wyckoff.  November 10, 2022 By Alix Soliman, Communications & Outreach Coordinator Birding on the Central Coast of California is a rich experience for new birders and old-timers alike, with almost 500 species identified in Monterey County alone. This area is centrally located
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The Ecosystem Benefits of Dead Standing Wood, or “Tree Snags”

A tree snag on The Preserve left standing long after the death of the oak tree. Photo by Serena Lasko. October 26, 2022 By Andrew Nguyen, Stewardship Manager Throughout their life cycle, trees serve as important habitat for many wildlife species, from when they are actively growing to when they’re decomposing back into the earth.
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How to Prevent Birds from Striking your Windows

An Anna's Hummingbird perches on a feeder. Photo by Adam White.  August 10, 2022 By Alix Soliman, Communications & Outreach Coordinator From a bird’s perspective, windows reflect the outside world and create the illusion of a seamless continuation of surrounding habitat, which can lead to what’s known as a “bird strike.” According to the Audubon
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10 Common Butterflies on The Santa Lucia Preserve

A Lorquin's Admiral butterfly, commonly mistaken for its look-alike, the California Sister. Public Domain Photo. July 18, 2022 By Alix Soliman, Communications & Outreach Coordinator As far as insects go, the Central Coast is most famous for the annual arrival of the Monarch butterfly from late November to December. Having migrated 1,000 miles or more
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Living in Harmony with Bears

A black bear caught strolling on the Conservancy's Rancho San Carlos Trail wildlife camera in 2020. July 7, 2022 By Alix Soliman, Communications & Outreach Coordinator While they are the state animal, California’s track record with bears is grim. When the state became more densely populated during and after the gold rush, conflicts between the
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February 2022 Newsletter

Chorus frog floating in a pond on The Preserve. Photo by Matthew Savoca. February 28, 2022 By Jamison Watts, Executive Director Internationally recognized as a biodiversity hotspot, the Santa Lucia Preserve is located within the Santa Lucia Mountains at the intersection of coastal and inland climate gradients, with a variety of elevations and habitats. Over
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What Does Applied Ecology Look Like on the Santa Lucia Preserve?

Conservation Ecologist Dr. Brian Woodward conducts a raptor survey on The Preserve. Photo by Alix Soliman. February 24, 2022 By Dr. Brian Woodward, Conservation Ecologist Driving through The Santa Lucia Preserve, you may see Conservancy staff wading through ponds, crouched in a field looking closely at budding flowers, or gazing through binoculars at soaring raptors.
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Wild Pigs on The Santa Lucia Preserve

Wild pig caught on a camera trap set up in the Garzas neighborhood of The Santa Lucia Preserve. Photo courtesy of Rich Griffith. December 1, 2021 By Dr. Brian Woodward, Conservation Ecologist Whether you have directly observed wild pigs (Sus scrofa) foraging on The Santa Lucia Preserve or not, you have likely noticed the damage
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How to Attract Monarch Butterflies to Your Garden

Monarch Caterpillar. Photo Courtesy of Courtney Celley / USFWS.  November 24, 2021 By Jenna Allred, Senior Manager of Climate Change Adaptation Monarch butterflies should be arriving to the Central Coast soon for overwintering, where they will stay to breed in February. After breeding, monarchs head north to find their summer sites. Read on to learn
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SLC Publishes Conservation Living Guide for Preserve Residents

The newly published Conservation Living Guide for Santa Lucia Preserve residents. Photo by Alix Soliman.  November 18, 2021 By Jamison Watts, Executive Director We’re thrilled to announce that the Santa Lucia Conservancy will be releasing the Conservation Living Guide for Preserve residents next week! Born from an imperative to foster a comprehensive understanding of what
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SLC Welcomes Conservation Ecologist Dr. Brian Woodward

Dr. Brian Woodward. Photo by Alix Soliman.  November 10, 2021 By Jamison Watts, Executive Director The Santa Lucia Conservancy is excited to welcome Conservation Ecologist Dr. Brian Woodward to our team. Dr. Woodward is a dedicated research ecologist and experienced project manager with a deep knowledge of California’s natural history and passion for education and
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It’s Going to be a La Niña Winter, Here’s What to Expect on The Preserve

How winter weather in the U.S. is impacted by El Niño and La Niña. Infographic courtesy of NOAA. October 20, 2021 By Jenna Allred, Senior Manager of Climate Change Adaptation With winter just around the corner, The Santa Lucia Conservancy is planning next year’s land management projects and priorities. As current and future climate conditions control
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SLC Places Climate Change Adaptation at the Fore, Promotes From Within

Restoring grasslands and oak savannas across The Santa Lucia Preserve is a crucial component of the Conservancy's wildfire and climate change resilience efforts. Photo by Bill Guion. September 15, 2021 By Jamison Watts, Executive Director The Santa Lucia Conservancy remains steadfast in its mission to protect and steward the unique natural and aesthetic resources of
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8 Things You Can Do on Your Openlands

Photo by Adam White. Ramona Bohlander sets up a wildlife camera on her property to help the Conservancy track the movements of our wild neighbors. August 6, 2021 By Izaac Tompkins, Stewardship Associate Each of the 296 residential lots on the Santa Lucia Preserve has two zones, a Homeland and an Openland. While the Homelands
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Can The Santa Lucia Preserve Become One of the First Rodenticide-free Communities in the Country?

A happy IPM customer holding a California mouse after adopting non-toxic rodent control. Photo by Rodrigo Sierra Corona July 27, 2021 By Sabine Cudney, Wildlife Technician Summary Rodenticides, poison baits used to kill rodents, threaten to upend natural predator-prey cycles by poisoning entire food-chains. Their negative impacts on wildlife have been widely documented in California,
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The Plight of the Nomadic Tricolored Blackbird and its Life on The Preserve

Photo by Dr. Christy Wyckoff. A male tricolored blackbird perched in tall grasses. June 24, 2021 By Alicia Khuon, Field Technician They “darken the sky for some distance with their masses” wrote an observer in 1853 about tricolored blackbirds (Agelaius tricolor). Unfortunately, this is no longer true. The tricolored blackbird has been listed as threatened
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