California State Parks - San Luis Obispo Coast District | Morro Bay State Park | $24,972.20
Project: Habitat Improvements in Monarch Overwintering Sites within Morro Bay State Park
This project will protect, maintain, and improve two overwintering sites within Morro Bay State Park. Specifically, it will focus on planting native nectar plants, select tree planting, and fuel reduction of downed trees and debris to create a more favorable microclimate and ensure nectar resources for overwintering monarchs. Native nectar plants identified in the management plan will be collected as seeds, grown, and planted in both the core and shelter zones. Select native tree and large shrub plantings will add diversity, wind protection, and more vertical structure to the site. Fuel reduction activities will occur at times monarchs are not present at the sites and may include cutting, piling, and burning fallen trees, bark, and leaf debris. Additionally, to provide adaptive management data, state parks will mark cluster trees and other noteworthy trees in the groves to track and document monarch cluster preferences and tree health through time.
Impact: Planting native nectar plants will ensure that monarchs have an adequate food supply. Fuel reduction will decrease the risk of wildfire in the groves and prepare the area for planting, which will create an increase of habitat resources to benefit monarch butterflies in Morro Bay State Park. Marking trees within the sites will ensure accurate monitoring over time. The lessons learned through this effort will be incorporated into management plans for other sites, furthering our management efficacy.