Dispatches from San Mateo County Parks' Natural Resource Management
We're excited to introduce our new Natural Resource Management interns. Meet Johanna, Alissa, and Aidan!
Our task was to level and install seed beds for the Green Grass Project at Edgewood Farms —an amazing project spearheaded by the Friends of Edgewood group, which has been helping steward the park and its incredible diversity of plant life for over 25 years.
Every other year the Natural Resource Management team does a survey of San Bruno Elfin, an endangered species on San Bruno Mountain. Their larva, or caterpillars, feed an attractive native succulent that grows on rocky outcrops.
It is quite common to mistake a lizard that has just lost its tail for dead! While unfortunately the lizard is now tail-less, it isn't dying, far from it actually. It is very much still alive. Lizards utilize caudal autotomy (tail dropping) as a survival strategy for predatory response! When being chased or spotted by a predator a lizard may drop his or her tail and speed away while the piece of tail continues to wriggle and squirm, mimicking another lizard. If a lizard is bit by a venomous snake it may drop its tail as well, to ensure that the toxin does not reach the rest of the lizard’s body. In some cases, the tail will even grow back, however the regenerated tail does have less function.
As a Natural Resource Management Intern I visit many of the parks to analyze different habitats and support vegetation management activities.
A few feet farther up the slope I saw the telltale yellow flowers, looking like a garden “pansy,” peaking out of the mass of green. It was California Golden Violet, Viola pedunculata
In January of 2020 San Mateo County Parks Natural Resource Management was excited to welcome our first intern team. Meet Alex Wilbanks, Johanna Harrison, and Olivia Kurz.