Young Ranch Ecological Preserve
Support the conservation and management of a unique property that supports critical habitat for endangered species.
WRA has provided biological consulting services for the 2,100-acre Young Ranch property on Coyote Ridge in Santa Clara County since 2007. Young Ranch is unique property in southeast San Jose and Santa Clara County with very high-quality serpentine grasslands that supports five federally-listed species including one of the most robust populations of the Bay checkerspot butterfly that only lives in that region. WRA has supported the property owner with a suite of biological studies to help understand their property and implement appropriate land management practices that support healthy habitats for the sensitive species present.
WRA has provided biological inventories, grazing models, and invasive plant management year over year to support the preservation of native species.
WRA conducted baseline biological inventories including vegetation mapping, targeted wildlife surveys, rare plant surveys, invasive weed mapping, tree survey, and wetland and stream delineations. The site contains large expanses of serpentine grassland home to listed species such as the Bay checkerspot butterfly (BCB), Santa Clara Valley dudleya, fragrant fritillary, Metcalf Canyon jewelflower, and most beautiful jewelflower. Other listed species at the site include California red legged frog, California tiger salamander, and burrowing owl. WRA has conducted 14 consecutive years of BCB surveys to document the extent and abundance of the species on site. The property owners share their results with other scientists working on this species to help understand the dynamics of the butterfly populations with a goal of preserving the species.
WRA has also supported healthy grazing practices at the site by creating GIS-based grazing model based on physical aspects of the site, rainfall levels, and U.S. Department of Agriculture grazing data. WRA’s Landscape Restoration contractor has also supported range management by conducting weed management activities over several years which also enhances sensitive wildlife habitat.
WRA conducts annual monitoring for endangered species and works to control invasives at the site to preserve and enhance ranching resources.
WRA’s work at the site led to the development of a resource management plan and grazing plan and helped to identify priority conservation areas at the site. These sensitive resources will be set aside as a natural preserve intended to be incorporated into the Reserve System for the Santa Clara Valley Habitat Plan. To learn more about Young Ranch, visit their website. Check out our video below of an annual butterfly survey at the property!
Chief Executive Officer
Rei Scampavia, PhD
GISP, GIS Analyst
Restoration Operations and Project Manager
GIS and Spatial Services