Subject: Open Space Outlook February 2017


OPEN SPACE OUTLOOK

February 2017

Advanced Technology Supports Wildlife Protection
In the heart of Silicon Valley, researchers are using technology to track and protect the wildlife that call Santa Clara Valley home. The Coyote Valley Bobcat and Gray Fox Connectivity Study, which maps and analyzes wildlife movement, is funded in part by Peninsula Open Space Trust, the Santa Clara Valley Habitat Agency, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife's Local Assistance Grant Program.

"Prior research clearly demonstrates the value of Coyote Valley as a critically important linkage for wildlife," says Neal Sharma, Stewardship Project Manager at Peninsula Open Space Trust. "The goal of the gray fox and bobcat study is to yield detailed information about the ways in which these animals move across and within the valley floor."
The Open Space Authority is partnering with UC Santa Cruz, Pathways for Wildlife, and the Peninsula Open Space Trust on the study. Researchers will attach radio-collars to these animals to map out where they move and cross roads, what paths they are using, and which habitats they prefer. This detailed data will enable local agencies, conservation organizations, and planners to make well-informed decisions about where to locate wildlife crossings to provide safe passage for these animals - and help tip the odds in their favor.
Local Agriculture Lands Bolster Resilience to Climate Change
The Santa Clara Valley, once the fruit and vegetable basket for the nation, has lost 45% of its farmland to development in just the last two decades. The rapid population growth projected for Santa Clara County over the next 30 years puts the remaining 27,000 acres at high risk of development.
To protect California's irreplaceable croplands and rangelands, the State of California launched the Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program (SALCP) in 2015. With grant funds from SALCP, the County of Santa Clara and the Open Space Authority have initiated the Santa Clara Valley Climate and Agriculture Protection Program (CAPP). The CAPP in partnership with the cities of San Jose, Morgan Hill, and Gilroy, is working to map and prioritize agricultural lands in Santa Clara Valley for conservation, identifying the regional greenhouse gas reduction potential of these lands, and creating local programs to support long-term conservation of agricultural lands in Santa Clara County.

"We are working closely with the county and key stakeholders to design an innovative conservation strategy tailored to Santa Clara Valley," said Andrea Mackenzie, General Manager for the Open Space Authority. "The plan will include land purchases, conservation easements, transfer of development rights, grant funding and strong policies and incentives to preserve the precious remaining agricultural land in the Santa Clara Valley region."
Who Am I?
Newcomers to the outdoors often mistake me for a baby mountain lion, but we are actually quite different. I weigh less than 25 pounds, while mountain lions can weigh more than 125 pounds! The tail is the real giveaway though: my tail is a mere six inches long, while the tail of a mountain lion is extends about 2.5 feet.
Winter Blossoms
Sunday, February 19, 2017
1 to 5 p.m.
Rancho Cañada del Oro
Open Space Preserve


Even though it is still winter, the early wildflowers and blossoms are already blooming! Join us for a beautiful walk to find the early bloomers.
Who Am I? Answer
I’m a bobcat (Lynx rufus). I’m found throughout the United States and locally, you just might spot me in Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve. My favorite foods include rabbits, mice, and gophers. Young bobcats are vulnerable to many types of predators, including eagles and coyotes, but only mountain lions prey on adults. Californians’ relationship with bobcats has a checkered history; up to 2015, bobcats were captured by commercial trappers for their soft fur, but that practice — decried by some as cruel — is now illegal. In recent years, some California bobcats died from mange, a disease that affects the skin and leads to emaciation, bobcats can also die from ingesting poison used to kills rodents one of their main food sources.
Photo Credits

Bobcat - Cait Hutnik
Gray Fox - Pathways for Wildlife
Coyote Valley - Derek Neumann
Vegetables - Cassie Kifer
Bobcat - Gary Chock
Milkmaids - John Doyen
Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority | 408.224.7476 | openspaceauthority.org
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