Archive for April, 2009

Spring Plant Census

April 30, 2009

Given the lack of moisture this winter, there were few annual plants to count this spring.  We found just a handful of Erodium and Lesquerella individuals hiding in all the standing dead annual grasses.  On this trip we also conducted a census of perennial shrubs and grasses on the plots.  This is a survey we have conducted every 3-5 years since 1989.  Perennial grasses appear to have declined recently on all plots while Ephedra seemed to be more abundant that in previous censuses.  We’ll be working up the data soon.

Erodium cicutarium

Erodium cicutarium

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April ’09 rodent update

April 29, 2009

We had beautiful weather this month and enjoyed typical desert ambiance.

Field truck at sunrise

Field truck at sunrise (Photo by Mary Pendergast)

k-rat_landscape1

Numbers jumped from 118 rodents in March to 161 in April. Much of this was due to the return of C. penicillatus and many juvenile and sub-adult C. baileyi, particulary on the kangaroo-rat exclosures. Plot 6 alone experienced an increase from 2 individuals in March to 12 this month. We’ll be ready for anything this summer!