Thursday, August 9, 2007: 1:00 PM-6:00 PM
Lower Level Lobby, San Jose McEnery Convention Center
FT 20 - Santa Cruz Sandhills
Participants will visit the Santa Cruz Sandhills a unique ecosystem that occurs on outcroppings of sand soils derived from the weathering of Miocene marine sediments in central Santa Cruz County, California. Like other edaphic endemic systems, the Sandhills support a diverse assemblage of native species adapted to the unique conditions created by the sand soil and moist maritime climate, including two endemic communities and seven known endemic species. Naturally rare, the Sandhills originally covered an estimated 6,000 acres. Habitat loss, fragmentation, and degradation have reduced the system to an estimated 4,000 acres and resulted in the listing of four species as federally endangered. Persistence of the endangered Sandhills species continues to be threatened by development, exotic plants, fire exclusion and recreation. Lead by researchers who have investigated the ecology of the endangered species and communities, visitors will tour portions of a 100-acre Sandhills preserve nestled near the town of Ben Lomond in Santa Cruz County. The field trip will explore the unique ecology of the system and discuss how research is being used to inform policy and management designed to conserve this critically imperiled system. Wear sturdy shoes for walking in sand on moderate terrain. Expect hot, sunny weather bring sunscreen, hat and sunglasses. Children may attend this field trip. Sandhills Alliance for Natural Diversity www.santacruzsandhills.com
Organizer:Jodi McGraw, population and Community Ecologist

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