Project Description

Starr Ranch (SRS) is a 4,000 acre Audubon Sanctuary in the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains in southeast Orange County, California. SRS has been working on non-chemical control of the highly noxious exotic artichoke thistle (Cynara cardunculus) in over 700 acres of heavily invaded habitats. Since 1999, artichoke thistle has been reduced to 0-5% cover in over 340 of the 700 acres. This project aims to restore 250 acres to coastal sage scrub habitat and to concurrently monitor changes in bird assembly and nesting success over the course of restoration. During the project we will (1) monitor breeding activity of all passerines and near passerines; and (2) monitor nesting success of several focal bird species over the course of habitat restoration, beginning at baseline through a minimum of five years or until the breeding bird composition and nesting success is comparable to pristine coastal sage scrub reference sites.

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