Descanso Gardens Wildlife Management Plan


January 2019 to December 2019


La Cañada – Flintridge, California


Descanso Gardens Guild

Located on the northern slope of the San Rafael Hills, the Descanso Gardens combines internationally renowned botanical collections, seasonal horticultural displays, history, art, and natural open space into a seamless experience for members and daily visitors. Fulfilling the mission of Descanso, however, comes with some difficulties. While the majority of wildlife are either benign or even beneficial to human pursuits, others provide some level of harm. This harm can come in the form of – among other things – cultivated plant destruction, building damage, disease transmission risk, or potential injury to Descanso visitors. The Descanso Gardens Wildlife Management Plan sought to provide solutions to some of these challenges using guidance from nearby and similar facilities. The overarching goals for wildlife management described by the Plan were: Goal 1 – Increase the Quality of Native Habitats for Wildlife; Goal 2 – Minimize Visitor-Wildlife Conflict; Goal 3 – Protect Planted Garden Areas and Facilities from Wildlife Damage; Goal 4 – Promote Environmental Research and Education; and Goal 5 – Promote a Regional Habitat Linkage.

Fieldwork for the plan – including monthly night surveys and extensive camera trapping – occurred from January to October 2019. The draft Plan was delivered in November 2019, and the final Plan was delivered after a Plan presentation with Descanso staff in December 2019.

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