Coastal Sage Scrub at University of California, Los Angeles
The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is located in a highly urban setting, situated on the west side of Los Angeles. Like most of the Los Angeles Basin, the campus has very little remaining native vegetation. However, two areas continue to offer a glimpse of the native habitats that were displaced by the campus, an oak grove associated with Stone Canyon Creek on the grounds of the University Residence, and a patch of coastal sage scrub in the northwest corner of the campus. This biological assessment has been prepared for the coastal sage site as a practical exercise for an upper-division Geography class.
The site is located at the northwestern corner of the campus, which is situated at the southern margin of the Santa Monica Mountains. The site is bounded by Veteran Avenue to the west, Sunset Boulevard and Bellagio Avenue to the north, the Hitch Residential Suites and Parking Lot #11 to the east and campus tennis courts to the south. The site is of a rectangular configuration and covers approximately four acres.
This study describes the flora and fauna of the site, shich includes many native species native to southern
California coastal sage scrub. The site currently supports almost 50 native higher plant species, 7 native mammal species, sevearl amphibians and reptiles, 17 species of butterflies and almost 30 resident or migratory bird species. Conservation of these species require active restoration as well as protection from further encroachment. For purposes of this exercies, the overall goal for short and long-term management of this natural habitat is assumed to be the preservation of this natural coastal sage scrub for its intrinsic biological and cultural value for present and future generations.
With a well-crafted restoration and management plant, the site could reach its full potential as an education and reseach area. It has already been used for class exercies in both the Department of Geography and the Department of Biology. Its proximity to campus makes it available for undergraduate education where no other such opportunity exists. The biological assessment herein provides the factual basis for recognizing the natural value of the site both as a local reservoir of biodiversity and an educational resource.
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