Plants and animal species are thriving on the Newport Banning Ranch as well as those areas surrounding the property. More than two-thirds of the property consists of coastal mesas, bluff faces and arroyos. The remainder of the property is lowlands containing rare coastal wetlands, vernal pools and ephemeral streams, with an abundance of native plant habitats. These topographic features create a unique ecological system that biologists refer to as an ecological staircase. The property has every element necessary to be a self-sustaining ecosystem. An abundance of plant habitats serve significant species of wildlife, many of which are Federal/State Endangered Species and/or Listed or Protected (view this page)........
The wildlife species listed below have been observed or are expected to occur within the Newport Banning Ranch property based upon EIR related surveys. Please note: This list does not include Federal or State endangered or listed species. Please refer to the Endangered/Listed Species Page for more information.
Birds: A variety of bird species are expected to be residents on the NBR property and to use the habitats throughout the year. Other species are present only during certain seasons. For example, the white-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys) is expected to occur on the property during the winter season and would then migrate north in the spring to breed during the summer.
The following bird species were observed during surveys and can be considered resident: great blue heron (Ardea herodias), great egret (Ardea alba), black-crowned night-heron (Nycticorax nycticorax), killdeer (Charadrius vociferus), mourning dove (Zenaida macroura), Anna’s hummingbird (Calypte anna), Allen’s hummingbird (Selasphorus sasin), Nuttall’s woodpecker (Picoides nuttallii), downy woodpecker (Picoides pubescens), black phoebe (Sayornis nigricans), Hutton’s vireo (Vireo huttoni), American crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos), common raven (Corvus corax), bushtit (Psaltriparus minimus), house wren (Troglodytes aedon), northern mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos), European starling (Sturnus vulgaris), orange-crowned warbler (Oreothlypis celata), common yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas), spotted towhee (Pipilo maculatus), California towhee (Melozone crissalis), song sparrow (Melospiza melodia), house finch (Carpodacus mexicanus), lesser goldfinch (Spinus psaltria), and American goldfinch (Spinus tristis).
Summer-only residents in the region that nest or were suspected of nesting on the site during surveys include black-chinned hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri), Pacific-slope flycatcher (Empidonax difficilis), ash-throated flycatcher (Myiarchus cinerascens), black-headed grosbeak (Pheuticus melanocephalus), blue grosbeak (Passerina caerulea), hooded oriole (Icterus cucullatus), and Bullock’s oriole (Icterus bullockii).
Wintering species observed during the surveys include ruby-crowned kinglet (Regulus calendula), American pipit (Anthus rubescens), yellow-rumped warbler (Dendroica coronata), Townsend’s warbler (Dendroica townsendi), savannah sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis), Lincoln’s sparrow (Melospiza lincolnii), white-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys), and golden-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla).
Raptors observed on the site include the turkey vulture (Cathartes aura), osprey (Pandion haliaetus), white-tailed kite (Elanus leucurus), northern harrier (Circus cyaneus), sharp-shinned hawk (Accipiter striatus), Cooper’s hawk (Accipiter cooperii), red-shouldered hawk (Buteo lineatus), red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), American kestrel (Falco sparverius), and great horned owl (Bubo virginianus).
Mammals: Small, ground-dwelling mammals observed on the NBR property include California ground squirrel (Spermophilus beecheyi), Botta’s pocket gopher (Thomomys bottae), dusky-footed woodrat (Neotoma fuscipes), and black rat (Rattus rattus).
Several bat species may occur on the NBR property, including pallid bat (Antrozous pallidus), big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus), California myotis (Myotis californicus), and western pipistrelle (Pipistrellus hesperus).
Medium to large-sized mammals observed on the property include Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana), desert cottontail (Sylvilagus audubonii), coyote (Canis latrans), common raccoon (Procyon lotor), and striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis).
Reptiles: Reptile species observed or expected to occur on the NBR property include western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis), side-blotched lizard (Uta stansburiana), southern alligator lizard (Elgaria multicarinata), and gopher snake (Pituophis catenifer). Other reptile species that may occur on the NBR property include western skink (Eumeces skiltonianus), ring-necked snake (Diadophis punctatus), red racer [coachwhip] (Coluber [Masticophis] flagellum piceus), California striped racer aka - whipsnake (Coluber [Masticophis] lateralis lateralis), common kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula), and western rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus).
Amphibians: Baja California treefrog (Pseudacris hypochondriaca) tadpoles were observed in a ponded depression on the NBR property. Other common amphibian species that were observed or are expected to occur on the site include garden slender salamander (Batrachoseps major) and western toad (Bufo boreas).
Fish: Fish species with potential to occur within the salt marsh and open water areas include California killifish (Fundulus parvipinnis), longjaw mudsucker (Gillichthys mirabilis), Pacific staghorn sculpin (Leptocottus armatus), prickly sculpin (Cottus asper), and shiner perch (Cymatogaster aggregata).
Source=Newport Banning Ranch EIR - Section 4.6 Biology Resources (12 MB)