Transcript for Wetlands Regained, segment 06 of 8


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Lands acquired through the San Joaquin Basin Action Plan will be managed not only for waterfowl food supply, nesting, and upland habitat but also for various other uses such as wildlife viewing, hunting, photography, and learning.

Now because the owl is a fully protected species, you can't even have their feathers. It's against the law. So we'll need to go back out to the trees and leave the feathers, and if you'd like to take your owl pellet with you ...

While issues such as water supply and wetlands management may take time to fully settle, there is a sense of urgency with respect to carrying out the Basin Action Plan. Wetland acreage in the Central Valley has declined so sharply since the first settlement of the valley that it is in grave danger of disappearing. If these wetlands disappear, so will the number of wildlife that rely on them for all or part of their life cycle.

Four species of geese, tundra swans, twenty species of ducks, and numerous other migratory birds winter in the area. Eleven species of ducks are full-time residents, breeding and raising their young here. Endangered birds such as the Aleutian Canada goose, southern bald eagle, and peregrine falcon rely on the wetlands. California threatened species include the Swainson's hawk and greater sandhill crane. Federal candidate species include the white-faced ibis and tricolored blackbird. Other species of concern in the area are the western snowy plover, White pelican, double-crested cormorant, and many other birds.

Over ten thousand of these lesser sandhill cranes use the area during the winter. Other winter visitors include black-necked stilts, snowy and greater egrets, great blue herons, and black-crowned night herons.

Raptors found within the San Joaquin Basin include varieties of hawks and owls, northern harriers, black-shouldered kites, and American kestrels. All species need good, quality habitat to nourish them, to allow them to rest, make it through the winter, and survive.