Clearing an endangered woodrat’s nest off a lot
Photo by Anonymous
Photo by Anonymous
An El Granada resident has posted a series of photographs that show a crew clearing a lot of vegetation and, ultimately, a nest of what was probably a San Francisco dusky-footed woodrat.
The photos are a rare opportunity to see a bit of the local wildlife in the process of being wiped out. The photos show the lot being cleared, the nest in the middle of the newly-created clearing, and the same clearing without the nest. According to the person posting the photos, the lot was surveyed and the woodrat nests marked before the lot was cleared. He described the area as riparian habitat on the banks of a year-round creek.
San Francisco dusky-footed woodrat (Neotoma fuscipes annectens) listed by the California Fish and Wildlife Service as a "federal endangered and threatened species that may be affected by projects in Santa Clara County".
According to the El Granadan, who prefers to remain anonymous, "This lot was cleared four years ago and the willows grew back. This time, they removed the roots."
Little is known about our own Neotoma fuscipes annectens. The California Department of Fish and Game has some information about apparently related Neotoma fuscipes (without the annectens) and eNature has a nice picture of it. eNature says:
A [Neotoma fuscipes] nest, often the result of work by several generations of woodrats, is usually occupied by a female and her young, although two females sometimes occupy a single nest."
There are more and larger photos of the cleared lot on the original web site. The photographer has also notified the county and the Coastal Commission in an effort to keep the lot from being sold or built on: "Some people from the Coastal Commission came out and looked at the property, including a biologist. I have also been contacted by someone from [supervisor] Rich Gordon’s office."