Marbled murrelet fledgling rescued. With the hand in the photo you can see how small it really is. Incidentally, murrelet fledglings should never be held directly in the hand as shown in this old photo. We now know that doing so damages the water-proofing characteristics of their feathers. For in-depth information on this species, click here.

Sensitive Fauna of the Santa Cruz Mountains Bioregion

Area Covered

All species whose breeding distribution includes the Santa Cruz Mountains Bioregion were considered for possible inclusion in this list. The boundaries of the Bioregion are from the Golden Gate in the north to the Pajaro River in the south and from the Pacific Ocean shoreline on the west to the San Francisco Bay margin, or the Guadalupe River on the east. The list includes anadromous or catadromous species, but species that live exclusively in the ocean or bay were not included.

Criteria for Designation as “Sensitive” 

Two or more well qualified local experts on each taxonomic group were consulted. They were asked to weigh the likely fate of each species given the future projection of current trends in land use, population growth, and species’ distributions and demographics. If they felt that a species was more likely than not to become extirpated in the Bioregion in the next 50 years, then that species was proposed for inclusion in the list. If the experts disagreed, which rarely happened, the Board of Directors of the Bioregional Council made the final decision as to whether or not to include the species on the list. The Bioregional Council retains full responsibility for all species included in the list. Board members who contributed to this effort were Ms. Toni Danzig, Ms. Diane Renshaw, Mr. Steve Singer, and Dr. Jerry Smith.

This list is not meant to be “set in stone”, but to change as new scientific information becomes available. The submittal of scientific information about any of the listed species, or about species proposed for inclusion is encouraged. Comments may be submitted to the Council care of Steven Singer, Project Coordinator, at this web site. Thumbnail accounts of a few species are currently available, and more will be added to this website in the future.

Value of this List 

The Animal Species at Risk list has not been sanctioned by any government agency or academic institution. Instead it represents the informed opinion of the Santa Cruz Mountains Bioregional Council, a group of local environmental professionals and scientists knowledgeable about natural resources of the Bioregion and the management of native fauna and their habitat. The Board of Directors of the Bioregional Council is solely responsible for the contents of this list.

It is hoped that this list will encourage greater protection of the habitat of listed species during any proposed land use changes. To this end, the Board of Directors encourages the widespread use of this list in environmental documents prepared by federal and state government agencies, the Association of Bay Area Governments, the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments, counties, cities, land conservancies, educational institutions, municipal water districts, open space districts, and private land owners.