The perfect hub to study ecology at many scales

The Conservation Science program of Audubon Canyon Ranch is headquartered at ACR's Cypress Grove Research Center, situated among the coastal prairie, wetlands and shoreline of the Cypress Grove Preservealong the eastern shore of Tomales Bay. The overarching goal of the science we do is to better understand how to maintain sustainable populations of animals and plants that in turn support both natural ecosystems and human well-being.

Long-term monitoring and directed research

At the Cypress Grove Research Center, ACR scientists, colleagues, students, and volunteers conduct long-term monitoring [link] and shorter-term research projects [link].

Our long-term monitoring projects focus on birds because they can be good indicators of overall ecosystem health. We track the trends and status of wintering shorebirds [link] and waterbirds [link] on Tomales Bay, and Heron and Egret Nesting Colonies throughout the North San Francisco Bay Area [link].

Our focused research projects are informed by trends and patterns apparent in our monitoring data, emerging conservation issues in the San Francisco Bay Area, and the scientific literature. These projects often involve collaboration with other researchers around the Bay Area and across North America. Some recent examples include GPS-tagging Great Egrets [link], radio-tagging Dunlin and Wester Sandpipers [link] and establishing radio tag detecting towers at our preserves [link].

Communicating our results

We know that we can’t simply collect data and assume that will lead to conservation action. Rather, we value interpreting and communicating the results of our work to multiple audiences. We publish papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals, create reports and summaries of our monitoring data for local natural resource managers and the public, and use our scientific findings to develop curricula for a range of grade levels.

Photo Credits: 

  • Bob Hart