To best understand how to enhance the resilience of The Preserve’s natural resources, our Conservation Science Program works both independently and with a variety of academic and research institutions to conduct biological monitoring and research, support endangered species recovery, and manage scientific collaborations and outreach on the 20,000-acre Santa Lucia Preserve.
We conduct complex quantitative analyses of long-term ecological and spatial datasets, collaborate with partners to integrate Conservancy data into locally relevant ecological research, and write technical reports, peer-reviewed publications, and management plans.
1) How are the Preserve’s habitats and protected species populations changing in time and space and why?
2) How do resource management and natural disturbance influence our protected values, and what actions can be taken to most directly mitigate risks and promote ecological resilience?
3) Which conservation and restoration actions are appropriate to ensure population stability, recovery, and long term protection on the Preserve and similar systems throughout the region?
How We Answer Them
Monitor Endangered Species and Environmental Conditions
With a legal obligation to protect and monitor endangered species, the Conservancy conducts research and guides conservation and restoration actions that promote population stability and long-term recovery. Learn more about our current monitoring projects here.
Listed Species found on The Preserve:
- California tiger salamander (Ambystoma californiense): ESA threatened since 2004
- California red-legged Frog (Rana draytonii): ESA threatened since 1996
- Steelhead Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss): ESA threatened in Central CA since 1998
- Tricolored Blackbirds (Agelaius tricolor): CESA threatened since 2019
- Smith’s Blue Butterfly (Euphilotes enoptes smithi): ESA endangered since 1976
Manage Scientific Collaborations & Mentor Undergraduate Researchers
The Conservancy works with academic, research, and natural resource management institutions including CSUMB, UC Davis, Washington State University, US Fish & Wildlife Services, and NASA to study priority species and ecological processes on The Preserve. Our PhD ecologists also mentor undergraduate researchers and interns in applied ecology, from project conception to completion.
Inform Preserve Landowners & Entities
Our Conservation Science program serves as primary contact for biological and wildlife-related questions. We regularly provide presentations and advisories to Preserve residents and staff on ecological topics are happy to fulfill landowners’ requests for information and consultation on natural resources.