Protecting Wildlands in Irvine, California: A Vital Step for Wildlife Preservation

The Nature Conservancy and The Irvine Company have joined forces to create two protected corridors in the Santa Ana Mountains of Irvine, California. This is an unprecedented move to protect the wildlife in the area, which is facing habitat loss and climate change. The Tenaja Corridor, which links the Santa Rosa Plateau to the Cleveland National Forest, is essential for sustaining native plants and animals. The management plan developed by The Nature Conservancy and The Irvine Company will provide public access to more than 30,000 acres of the historic Irvine ranch.

It will also focus on habitat management and restoration. This is just one of many projects in California that demonstrate how connectivity between habitats is essential for plant and wildlife biodiversity. Urbanization has caused a great deal of destruction to wildlife habitats in Southern California, leaving smaller, unconnected areas that don't offer enough space for animals to hunt or find mates outside their own family. The Irvine Open Space Reserve is the second largest part of the Reserve (in acres), behind Orange County's numerous forest parks and conservation easement lands.

It is home to native grasses, live Engelmann and coastal oaks, Tecate cypresses, spring puddles, and associated wildflowers. It also provides a habitat for a variety of species including Bell's vireo, red-tailed hawks, grasshopper sparrows, black-shouldered kites, larks, California mosquitoes, coastal cactus wrens; foxes, lynxes, pumas, gophers, badgers, coyotes, turtles; orange-orange, whip-tailed lizards, whip-tailed lizards, turtles from Southwest pond, California newts, and California red-footed frogs. The Nature Conservancy's partnership with The Irvine Company is a major step forward in protecting wildlands in Irvine. This project will help ensure that native plants and animals have the space they need to survive and thrive in the face of habitat loss and climate change. By creating these protected corridors and providing public access to more than 30,000 acres of land, The Nature Conservancy and The Irvine Company are taking a vital step towards preserving wildlife in Irvine.

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