Motte Rimrock Reserve

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Emerson Oaks Reserve

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Conservation Biology Program







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.

Selected Research

Inventories of the site's vertebrates, plants, and fungi are in progress.

A variety of research involving mycorrhizal fungi related to live oaks.

Special Programs

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



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Copyright 2002
University of California, Natural Reserve System
Last Updated 5/1/04