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SWFHA Projects

Upper Chiquita Canyon Survey -  Orange County, California 
This project is a herpetological survey of the Upper Chiquita Canyon Conservation Area located in Orange County CA. In addition to recording which species of reptiles and amphibians inhabit the property, the project is focused on verifying the presence of the California Glossy Snake in an effort to support current research being conducted by Dr. Robert Fisher and his team of biologists at the USGS Western Ecological Research Center. 
The survey is a joint venture between the USGS and the Southwestern Field Herping Associates, with permission and support from Valerie McFall, the Transportation Corridor Agency Deputy Director of Environmental Services and the Agency Project Biologist, Dr. Margot Griswold. Work on the project began in December 2013, and monitoring of the property will hopefully be ongoing for several years.  

Rancho Mission Viejo Land Trust Survey - Orange County, California
One hundred and twenty five years ago, composed of an astounding 200,000 acres of beautiful Southern California coastal scrub and grasslands, Rancho Mission Viejo was acclaimed as "the greatest of all California ranchos". Today, with a remarkable 70% of the RMV land still undeveloped, the rancho is revered as one of Southern California's true treasures. Miles of rolling hills teeming with natural flora and fauna are under the watchful care of the dedicated staff of the Rancho Mission Viejo Land Trust, who maintain a delicate balance between protecting this natural land against those elements that would scar it in disrespect and those who wish to enjoy its beauty and rarity. The RMVLT managers are engaged in a constant struggle to fight off invasive vegetation and other seemingly benign enemies of the land, but always happy to share the fruits of their labor.
Our SWFHA associates are proud partners with RMVLT in their efforts to invite the public onto the property and introduce them to the local reptiles and amphibians that call the rancho home. We conduct several herp related talks on the rancho, and are currently conducting a herpetological survey of some of the property.
If you are interested in attending one of the many nature oriented events at Rancho Mission Viejo, or learn more about the rancho's history and current activities, please visit their website at   

San Dieguito River Park Conservancy Survey- San Diego County, California
The San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy (SDRVC) is a non-profit environmental conservancy dedicated to sustainable management of the natural resources of the San Dieguito Watershed, with priority given to the protection of the river corridor. The Conservancy has a 24-year record of moving the vision of a 55-mile San Dieguito River Park and Coast-to-Crest Trail from the ocean at Del Mar to Volcan Mountain north of Julian to a maturing reality.
Located in San Diego County, California, the Conservancy is working to acquire land to complete the River Park, extend the segments of the Coast-to-Crest Trail that are open, and assists with careful management of River Park lands. It is led by a citizen Board of Directors and is supported in its activities, physically and financially, by more than 1,200 Conservancy members. It partners with the River Park, citizens, land owners, governments and other non-governmental groups to ensure coordinated protection of the river corridor resources while fully respecting and protecting private property rights.
SWFHA Associate Jeff Nordland is the leader in this survey and has documented many herp species on various Conservancy owned properties. More information about the The San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy can be found at their website at

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