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QUAIL RIDGE MONITOR Vol. 24: November 2014 - 2015

pictue of Oak savannah slope on QRR looking north near Lake Berryessa
Oak savannah slope on QRR looking north.                  Photo courtesy of Frank Maurer

Greetings to all our members and supporters!

Your Quail Ridge Wilderness Conservancy has had a successful year of outreach, education, and land stewardship. We have conducted informative walks each month interpreting our oak/woodland ecosystem through the seasons. Some walk participants have been so impressed with Quail Ridge Reserve's xeric (drought—tolerant) landscape that they have gone home and replanted their own property with California native plants. [Please note that QRWC offers a 3-year restoration advisory program to help guide those wishing to restore their yards or lands.)

Now that we are once again in a serious drought in our state, it may be time to consider replanting your lawn (if relevant to you) with some of the xeric native plants found on QRR. A walk on the Reserve would be an eye—opener when the landscape is described and interpreted by your guide. By looking at the suite of trees, shrubs, forbs, grasses and flowers, you will get a good idea of how things grow in nature. From the several native species of oak, Big-leaf Maple, California Black Walnut, California Bay, Flowering Ash, and pine, you can choose plants that take into account their ultimate size, shape and deciduousness. All of these are important considerations to produce a landscape that will be both beautiful and functional.

For example, if you plant a deciduous species such as Blue Oak or Black Oak on a western-facing border, you will have shade during hot summer days and more sun and light during the winter months. A non- deciduous tree such as one of the Live Oaks would give continual shade throughout the year.

For a winter flowering shrub you might choose Manzanita of Coyote Bush for winter pollinators. You would avoid Buckeye if you are near introduced European common honeybees, because the pollen is toxic to them. Other spring flowering shrubs might be Buckbrush or Jim Brush (different species of Ceanothus) or possibly Holly-leaf Redberry.

In considering native grasses, Purple Needlegrass——our official state grass as of 2004 due to a legislative action promoted by QRWC, led by Frank)-withstands full sun and will survive easily in open areas and on the south side of a house, whereas California Melic or Blue Wild Rye will do better in the shade.

California wildflower mixes are available or you can choose just poppies or lupines. The wildflowers grow today——as they did formerly when our state was more pristine——dispersed among the native bunchgrasses. Many of the plants mentioned thus far are now available on-line or at a number of nurseries in the area.

There is much to see on the Reserve. You always have an invitation to partake in one of our regularly scheduled walks (schedule is included here <-- Follow this web link). Or you may arrange a special walk for a family or group. We await your call to have an adventure with us!

SOME WAYS TO ENJOY AND USE QUAIL RIDGE RESERVE (for further details see our website www.quailridge.org)
  • Come on walks during different seasons to observe the changing landscapes.
  • Create a special walk or joint fundraiser with another favorite charitable organization.
  • View the videos about Quail Ridge Reserve, available on YouTube, which intertwines the human and natural history of the area, season by season.
  • Take advantage of the three live webcams that are set up on QRR to be able to view wildlife in real time (available at: www.quailridge.org)
  • Sponsor a program in a local school, drawing on the YouTube videos and the live webcams, to provide a virtual field trip. This helps schools with limited or no funding for the actual trips.
SOME WAYS TO DONATE TO AND SUPPORT QUAIL RIDGE WILDERNESS CONSERVANCY (again, check our website for more details: www.quailridge.org)
  • Donate funds directly to help match the $24,000 donation received from a generous donor a few years ago. We have so far matched over $8,000.
  • Donate any unused/unwanted vehicle to Charitable Auto, from which QRWC receives 70% of the proceeds. This organization will pick up your vehicle and do all the paperwork, including providing a statement of your tax benefit. Call them at 877-537-5277 to make arrangements directly.
  • Shop for the holiday season or for any occasions using the QRWC Gift Boutique (list of items included here <-- follow this link to the Gift Boutique).
  • Use the enclosed scrip cards (Telephone Frank Maurer at 530-219-4477 to have one mailed to you) for Nugget Market and/ or SaveMart. Having the checker swipe the card at checkout costs you nothing, and provides 1-4% of your purchase to QRWC.
  • Sign up with Goodsearch (a search engine) which donates $.01 for every internet search you conduct via this engine. (See the QRWC website for directions on how to sign up-—it's very easy <-- Follow this link to the instructions)
Remember that QRWC remains an all-volunteer land trust, saving thousands of dollars each year in overhead costs that have been directed instead at land preservation and educational outreach. ln this light, please consider a year-end donation to support the work of this local land trust working year-long to maintain a precious piece of California native landscape and its resident wildlife.

We look forward to hearing from you soon. Have a wonderful Holiday Season and New Year. And do come and enjoy the Reserve.

Frank W Maurer, Jr.
Executive Director, QRWC
530-219-4477; frankmaurer41@gmail.com Website: www.quailridge.org

What do you get for your dollars donated to QRWC? As we consistently emphasize in our communications and publicity, we have a wonderful, nearby area protected for research and education. This is great in and of itself, but for our members and supporters there are additional benefits, all of which are on our website:
--Monthly educational walks for your family and guests
--Virtual Science Field Trips for K-12 school science classes
--Personal events on the Reserve for you to schedule with a group, club,
  school, etc. of special interest to you
--Online-accessible web cameras to view the Reserve and its wildlife
--Member-hosted home dessert parties for fun and for networking for QRWC
  and the Reserve
--Access to QRWC’s Gift Boutique for unusual items relating to the Reserve
  and nature in general (go to www.quailridge.org/boutique.htm for the full

  • Many people report that they are using the three live webcams--accessible through our website--to view wildlife in real time on QRR.
    --Click Here for accessible web cameras to view the Reserve and its wildlife

    Others have viewed our film "The Human and Natural History of Quail Ridge Reserve" that is available on DVD and is also available on YouTube. This film, which has striking photography, takes the viewer through the four seasons on the Reserve, with a narrated history. If you haven't yet looked at it, do give it a try.
    1. Quail Ridge Reserve Natural and Human History During Summer part 1
    2. Quail Ridge Reserve Natural and Human History During Fall part 2
    3. Quail Ridge Reserve Natural and Human History During Winter part 3
    4. Quail Ridge Reserve Natural and Human History During Spring part 4


    QRWC has been in partnership with the UCD NRS since 1992 to help procure and preserve the natural habitats and wildlife diversity on Quail Ridge Reserve and to promote scientific research and educational outreach to the public. This news roundup was contributed by Shane Waddel of the UCD—NRS.

    The drought conditions of the past year did not go unnoticed at the UC Davis Quail Ridge Reserve (http://nrs.ucdavis.edu/Quail.html). The historically dry weather was measurable in terms of plant and animal stress, dry ponds and wells, and plummeting populations of small mammals. However, these challenging conditions were also opportunities for researchers looking at the effects of climate change and its impacts on animal behavior and movement. We look forward to a wet year to see how populations rebound.

    This past year, the Natural Reserve System systemwide office undertook a strategic planning process focused on linking the system of 39 reserves throughout the state. Studies on climate across reserves provide a fundamental link to connecting the reserves. The UC Davis NRS is currently implementing its own strategic plan developed in 201%, which addressed similar topics, and it positions the Quai! Ridge Reserve to be a leader with these statewide initiatives.


    • Eight picturesque tent cabins funded by the Long Foundation were completed, and the reserve now has 32 beds available for researchers and classes.
    • Leveraging these facilities, reserve staff successfully submitted a grant to the National Science Foundation to completely remodel the field station. The new field station will be the hub for activities at the reserve, providing an industrial kitchen, bathrooms, showers, and a multi—purpose space available for classes, retreats, trainings, and meetings.
    • New gates were installed at the two entrances to the reserve. The main entrance now has electric gates providing improved accessibility. The east entrance gate was repositioned and replaced with an industrial, vandal—proof gate that should reduce dumping and trespass.
    Research and Classes
    • The Quail Ridge Automated Animal Tracking System (QRAAT) is up and running, while students in engineering and computer science work on streamlining data flow, quality of data, and format and accessibility of data. Field trials using the system are currently collecting data on mice, woodrats, and gray foxes that are collared with radio transmitters. More information can be found at http://qraat.ucdavis.edu.
    • The second year of a project breeding dragonflies in heated tanks was completed. The project is looking to see how different climate change models will affect the timing of emergence, size, shape, and robustness of the dragonflies. The theory is that they will emerge sooner, but possibly smaller and less able to fly great distances. Will they be able to outrun climate effects on ponds in order to find water to reproduce?
    • Other areas of research include: insect Studies — pollinators, insect florivory, plant specific communities, bees and their parasitoids; oak regeneration; tick-borne disease transmission; reptile and amphibian distributions.
    • Classes from UC Davis, Berkeley, CSU Sacramento, CSU San Francisco, CSU Stanislaus, American River College, and New Mexico State University have stayed at the reserve, from disciplines such as field ecology, herpetology, spider biology, environmental monitoring, mammalogy, and field methods in wildlife and conservation biology.

              photo of quail on the reseve


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