Endangered Ridgway’s Rails to Be Released Today — Tues., Aug.29 — in Mission Bay

by on August 29, 2023 · 0 comments

in Environment, Ocean Beach

Ridgway’s Rail

On Tuesday, August 29th, US Fish and Wildlife Service will release a batch of rusty-colored birds with long orange bills, called Ridgway’s Rail, at the UC San Diego Natural Reserve System’s Kendall-Frost Marsh.

Ridgway’s Rail are federally- and state-endangered, primarily due to the loss of its coastal habitat. They live in saltmarsh wetland with lush and tall vegetation often composed of cordgrass and pickleweed. Once they are established in a tidal wetland, they spend their whole life there foraging, breeding and nesting.

The USFWS has a Ridgway’s Rail breeding program located at the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge. This Tuesday, 8/29/23, the Service will be releasing captive bred adult Ridgway’s Rail into the Kendall-Frost Marsh, with help from the City of San Diego and the San Diego Audubon Society.

As part of their 1985 Light-Footed Clapper Rail Recovery Plan, the goal is to have 800 breeding pairs in Southern California. Ridgway’s Rail live in many of our coastal
wetlands in San Diego, but California has lost over 90% of its wetland habitat. Kendall-Frost Marsh is an example of a small, remnant tidal wetland with many impacts from the surrounding human land uses which include predators such as house cats and racoons, light and noise pollution, and disconnection from the fresh water and sediment from Rose Creek.

Currently, the bay has only 1%, or about 40 acres, of wetland remaining from the original 4000 acres that existed before the 1940s.

San Diego Audubon Society is leading the ReWild Mission Bay Project, and the ReWild Coalition composed of 78 allies, pushing the city government to prioritize wetland restoration in the northeastern corner of Mission Bay.

Not only would restoring tidal saltmarsh in our bay benefit the people of San Diego by giving us cleaner water at the bay, additional carbon sequestration, more diverse recreational opportunities, and protection from sea level rise, but it could also help the population of Ridgway’s Rails to recover.

ReWild’s WILDEST acreage restores more acreage as sea levels rise compared to the City’s current proposals, and is the best option to bring this into reality. Learn more about us and this project at www.rewildmissionbay.org and www.sandiegoaudubon.org

Ridgway’s Rails Release
Date: Tuesday, 8/29/23
Time: 11am
Location: Kendall-Frost Marsh, Pacific Beach Drive, San Diego, CA 92109, near Crown Point Drive
Speakers: San Diego Audubon Society and US Fish and Wildlife Service
Contact: Andrew Meyer, 970-222-3328

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