BCR 32 - Coastal California

BCR 32 mapA Mediterranean climate of hot, dry summers and cool moist winters creates conditions for chaparral vegetation in the low mountains along the coast that extend into Baja California. Characteristic high priority chaparral birds include Nuttall's Woodpecker, Oak Titmouse, California Thrasher, and Lawrence's Goldfinch. The coastline provides habitat for several waterfowl and shorebird species, and is an important wintering area for Marbled Godwit, American Avocet, and Surfbird. Most of the world's populations of Ashy Storm-Petrel and Xantus' Murrelet nest on a small number of offshore islands. A sizable proportion of the Elegant Tern and Heermann's Gull populations spend the non-breeding season here. Millions of Sooty Shearwaters gather in pelagic waters each fall, joined by numbers of other shearwaters, storm-petrels, and alcids. The Central Valley of California lies in this region between the Coast Ranges and the Sierra Nevada. Wetlands and associated uplands in the Central Valley provide roosting and foraging habitat for 60% of the waterfowl that winter in the Pacific flyway, including a majority of the continental Northern Pintail population. Approximately 95% of the Central Valley's depressional wetlands and 84% of riparian habitat have been lost, primarily to agriculture. A good deal of the remaining wetland habitat is protected within National Wildlife Refuges, but the majority is privately managed for waterfowl hunting. Among landbirds, the Central Valley is the center of the small ranges of the Tricolored Blackbird and Yellow-billed Magpie and also provides dwindling habitat for a host of riparian birds such as Least Bell's Vireo.


ABC-designated Globally Important Bird Areas in this BCR

Camp Pendleton (Santa Margarita River Valley)

Carrizo Plain National Monument

Colusa National Wildlife Refuge

Cosumnes River Preserve

Delevan National Wildlife Refuge

Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge (San Francisco Bay)

Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, including Moss Landing Wildlife Area and Moss Landing State Beach

Lake Hodges (San Dieguito River Park)

Los Padres National Forest

Merced National Wildlife Refuge (The Grasslands Ecological Area)

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Morro Bay, including Montana de Oro State Park, Moro Strand State Beach and Estero Bay

Mugu Lagoon

Napa-Solano Marshes Wildlife Area

Point Reyes National Seashore

Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, including Butte Sink and Sacramento River National Wildlife Refuges

San Bernadino National Forest

San Clemente Island

San Luis National Wildlife Refuge (The Grasslands Ecological Area)

Santa Cruz Island Preserve (Channel Islands National Park)

Sequoia National Forest

San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, including Almeda National Wildlife Refuge

San Diego National Wildlife Refuge Complex including South San Diego Bay Unit, and Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge

Suisun Marsh, including Grizzly Island Wildlife Area, Hill Slough Wildlife Area, and Peytonia Slough Ecological Reserve

Sutter National Wildlife Refuge

Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge (San Diego National Wildlife Refuge Complex)

Volta Wildlife Management Area (The Grasslands Ecological Area)