The United States Geological Survey Golden Gate Field Station conducted a baseline inventory of terrestrial vertebrates within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA), Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo Counties, California between 1990 and 1997. We established 456 permanent study plots in 6 major park habitats, including grassland, coastal scrub, riparian woodland, coastal wetland, broad-leaved evergreen forest, and needle-leaved evergreen forest.
We tested multiple inventory methods, including live traps, track plate stations, and artificial cover boards, across all years and habitats. In most years, sampling occurred in 3-4 primary sampling sessions between July and September. In 1994, additional sampling occurred in February and May in conjunction with an assessment of Hantavirus exposure in deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus).
Overall, we detected 32 mammal, 14 reptile, and 6 amphibian species during 25,222 trap-nights of effort. The deer mouse-the most abundant species detected--accounted for 67% of total captures. We detected the Federal Endangered salt marsh harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys raviventris) at one coastal wetland plot in 1992.
This project represents the first phase in the development of a comprehensive terrestrial vertebrate inventory and monitoring program for GGNRA. This report summarizes data on relative abundance, frequency of occurrence, distribution across habitat types, and trap success for terrestrial vertebrates detected during this 7-year effort. It includes comprehensive descriptions of the inventory methods and sampling strategies employed during this survey and is intended to help guide the park in the implementation of future longterm ecological monitoring programs.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Pilot Inventory of Mammals, Reptiles, and Amphibians, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California, 1990-1997