The vast dune system that once dominated the entire western half of the San Francisco peninsula in California has been reduced to a few fragments that conserve locally threatened plant and animal species. We measured the effects of ongoing restoration efforts on wildlife abundance and diversity on one of the largest of these fragments, Fort Funston in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Efforts included removal of non-native species, active restoration of native dune vegetation, and restricted visitor use. We collected data regarding the composition and abundance of vegetation, birds, and ground-dwelling vertebrates on four treatments including an actively restored area with restricted visitor use, an unrestored area where visitor use had been restricted for ten years, an unrestored area where visitor use had been restricted for two years, and an unrestored area with unrestricted visitor use. Results indicated that the diversity and abundance of wildlife species, as well as the richness and cover of native plant species, were greater in the restored area than in all other sampled areas. Restricted visitor use alone had only modest positive effects on the abundance and diversity of wildlife and the richness and cover of native plant species.
Additional publication details
Evaluating wildlife response to coastal dune habitat restoration in san francisco, california