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Riverside NRS Reserves
The Emerson Oaks Reserve in the Temecula Valley lies in
a transitional zone between the California coast and the Colorado Desert.
Four major climatic zones: mountain, desert, coastal, and interior valley
converge on site, helping influence a variety of habitats. This reserve
provides excellent opportunities to study the management of oak woodlands,
a habitat that is in decline throughoutCalifornia. Oak woodlands and coastal
sage scrub habitats are found on the reserve's lower and gentler slopes.
The higher and more rugged elevations support oak trees and dense stands
of chaparral. These diverse habitats and several permanent springs help
support a wide variety of wildlife. Observed fauna include: mule deer,
kangaroo rats, hawks (Cooper's, red-tailed, and red-shouldered), American
kestrel, western scrub jays, wrentits, Hutton's vireo, California thrashers,
rattlesnakes (red diamond and Southern Pacific), orange-throated whiptail,
coast horned lizard, and a variety of butterflies, including the California
sister and Lorquin's admiral. The reserve, which is protected by The Nature
Conservancy (TNC), is bordered by the Pechanga Indian Reservation, Agua
Tibia Wilderness, Dorland Mountain Artists' Retreat, agricultural land,
scattered residences, and lands held by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.
Inventories of the site's vertebrates, plants, and fungi are in progress.
A variety of research involving mycorrhizal fungi related to live oaks.
Habitat restoration: Removal of non-native species in the lower canyon.
Field courses: The site is visited by university courses in
vertebrate field biology and mycology.
For more information, see the UC Riverside Biology Homepage
6/13/01 REV1 sgr
University of California, Natural Reserve System