Throughout the years, Bufferlands staff has conducted a number of
research projects. The results of this research have been used to
guide our habitat management, to develop corrective measures for
environmental problems or to overcome habitat restoration
obstacles. This applied research has helped guide our management
strategies in areas ranging from beaver problems within our
riparian forests to perennial grassland establishment within the
Upper Beach Lake floodplain.
In addition, the Bufferlands welcomes opportunities to partner
with local universities and agencies and allow use of the area to
researchers. If you are interested in research opportunities,
please contact the Bufferlands Manager to discuss your research
The western pond turtle (Emys marmorata) is a native species
found on the Bufferlands and throughout the Sacramento Valley. In
recent years, other turtle species have been observed using the
Bufferlands wetland habitats. These introduced species include
the red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) and painted
turtle (Chrysemys picta). Both of these species are sold as pets
and are readily available at local pet shops. There has been much
speculation that these turtles may be out-competing our native
turtles for resources.
Our Bufferlands provide excellent habitat for one of the Central
Valley’s most charming birds, the burrowing owl. Since 1991,
Regional San’s natural resources experts have carefully monitored
burrowing owl habitat on District lands while pioneering
innovative techniques for increasing owl populations. Through
hands-on research, Bufferlands staff have successfully developed
a way to build artificial nesting mounds for the threatened
On Saturday, July 27, wildlife biologists from the Bufferlands
staff captured five burrowing owls along Sims Rd. This work is
part of an ongoing project to place leg bands on every owl in our
population. The owls were captured using various traps created
for this event. The traps and trapping methods were all crafted
with an emphasis on safety for the burrowing owls. Two adult owls
and three chicks were trapped and safely released back into their
The historic loss of riparian forest in central California is
dramatic, and manipulation of river flows has left few areas open
to natural regeneration. However, the last 20 years have seen
widespread attempts to replace riparian corridors. Motivation for
such restoration varies, from hopes for greater wildlife habitat
to impetus for naturally-occurring flood control and water
filtration. Riparian areas have been shown to contribute to such
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