VIDEO: Southern California's Fragmenting Landscape

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Southern California, land of Hollywood glitz and military might. But it is also home to a highly biodiverse landscape of unique plants and animals.

Robert Fisher at UC Berkeley

Robert Fisher presenting at the University of California, Berkeley. (Used with Permission: UC Berkeley Museum of Vertebrate Zoology)

Researcher at the USGS Western Ecological Research Center are studying the balance of human development and natural landscapes from San Diego to Santa Monica. They work collaboratively with partners like the U.S. Marine Corps and the City of San Diego to study how human activity, wildfires and other factors might be shifting or even fragmenting populations of plant and animal species.

Watch this detailed overview of some of these important Southern California ecological research projects, as explained by Robert Fisher, a lead scientist at the WERC San Diego Field Station.

Fisher gave this guest lecture to zoology students and faculty at University of California, Berkeley earlier in September:


Some highlights in this clip:

3:50 mark: Overview of the USGS role in federal ecological research
7:20 mark: History of Habitat Conservation Planning (HCP)
11:35 mark: Factors related to habitat fragmentation in Southern California
16:05 mark: Tube traps and trained dogs to track endangered pocket mice
24:04 mark: Modeling bobcat movement patterns in suburban California
30:22 mark: Post-fire impacts on wildlife in Southern California

Video courtesy of UC Berkeley Museum of Vertebrate Zoology.

-- Ben Young Landis