tree swallow nest box monitoring
Intertidal monitoring


This page and its tabs describe the conservation and monitoring programs that the reserve maintains.  To learn more about volunteering in these programs, please check the Get Involved tab.   

COPR is a small area surrounded by increasing urbanization.  Our main challenge is to maintain the habitats and species that live here, despite habitat fragmentation, pollution, disturbances, and climate change.  Most of our conservation programs started because we noticed a species' population declining over time.  We first try to understand the factors causing the decline and then implement actions to reduce or eliminate these threats.  For many species, the reserve's boundaries are not sufficient for their safety and survival.  Cooperation with neighboring properties in a much larger spacial scale is essential to the protection of some species.  

The Conservation Program focuses on enhancing and protecting habitat for listed or rare species that live in the reserve.  The Western Snowy Plover Conservation Program is our most well known program but we also work with other species such as the Ventura Salt Marsh Milkvetch, California Least Tern, Tide Water Goby, Western Pond Turtle, etc.  

The Restoration Program started in 1998 with the goal to eradicate exotic weeds and return habitats that have been disturbed by farming to a similar condition prior to the disturbance.  Restoration projects have been conducted each year but are dependent on external grants.  Several major exotic weeds have been eradicated and over 20 acres have been restored.  Habitat restoration has been an important conservation tool to support biodiversity at COPR.

Monitoring of the reserve's habitats and wildlife is essential to build baseline information to understand future changes and to better support visiting researchers and classes.  We monitor water quality in the Devereux Slough, count birds monthly at specific areas of the reserve, and monitor the subtidal habitat in the ocean in front of the reserve. We also work with other organizations such as the Santa Barbara Audubon Society to support their monitoring programs at the reserve such as the Tree Swallow nest box project, and the Christmas Bird Count.  We plan to create additional monitoring programs after the Nature Center's lab is constructed.