Third Annual Rare Plant-A-Thon at Point Reyes
Contact: John Dell'Osso, 415-464-5135
In May and July of 2001, Point Reyes National Seashore, with the support of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the California Native Plant Society, and the Point Reyes National Seashore Association, hosted its first two “Rare-Plant-A-Thons”. More than 80 volunteers participated in the two weekends, traveling from as far as Sacramento, Davis, San Francisco, and Death Valley. The group had a diversity of botanical experience and included teachers, engineers, scientists, and members of the local Golden Gate Habitat Restoration Team.
The Rare-Plant-A-Thon is an effort to inventory unrecorded rare plant populations throughout the 71,000-acre Point Reyes National Seashore. Point Reyes is host to over 900 species of flowering plants, which represents approximately 16% of the plant species known to occur in California. Presently, the Seashore supports 5 federally Endangered plants, 21 federal plant Species of Concern, and an additional 24 plant species that are listed by the California Native Plant Society (CNPS) as rare. Since 1984, park staff and a devoted group of CNPS volunteers have monitored rare plant populations within the Seashore. However, prior to 2001, comprehensive information describing the abundance and distribution of many of these species did not exist.
As a result of the two “Rare-Plant-A-Thons”, twenty-one unrecorded rare plant populations were discovered, documented, and mapped. One new species, the rare Humboldt Bay owls-clover (Castilleja ambigua ssp. humboldtiensis) was added to the Seashore’s plant species list. Eight known rare plant populations were monitored and mapped and many rare plant population boundaries were extended beyond their previously mapped boundaries. Rare plant populations at two sites scheduled to undergo restoration projects were also monitored and mapped. Overall, the “Rare-Plant-A-Thons” were a positive and productive start to the ongoing effort to document and monitor rare plant populations within Point Reyes National Seashore.
On May 11th and 12th Point Reyes National Seashore is hosting its third Rare-Plant-A-Thon and is currently looking for volunteers to participate. Volunteers are provided with a brief training and are broken into groups and sent to different areas within the Seashore to survey for and/or monitor different rare plant species. Please contact Michelle Coppoletta or Shelly Benson at (415) 464-5242 for more details.