Water Resource Collections and Archives


San Francisco Bay Fund Inventory of Projects

San Francisco Bay Fund Inventory of Projects

Monitoring bird use at urban creek sites to evaluate the success of completed restoration.

Organization: Urban Creeks Council
2008 Grant Recipient – Contra Costa County


The grant was used to produce a report on findings of bird survey for use by restoration scientists, practitioners, educators, and the general public. California has lost 95% of its riparian vegetation, leading to the extirpation and declines of many riparian-associated species. The project was designed to help their organization understand whether or not urban stream restoration actually produces a measurable benefit, in this case a benefit to birds.

Although Urban Creeks Council (UCC) is best known for its restoration activities, over twenty-four months, the UCC conducted a bird monitoring survey at five urban stream restoration sites in the East Bay. Despite the proliferation of restoration projects in the Bay Area, the ecological benefits of urban stream restoration are largely unknown. This project collected and compared data from five urban streams with those of a mature, ecologically intact riparian corridor, thereby providing information as to the ecological benefits, or even detriments (ex. Biological sinks), that can be a result of urban stream restoration. Birds are excellent indicators of restoration site success, and therefore, are the focus of this monitoring effort.

From these surveys, the researchers determined: surrounding land use; calculated total bird abundance (birds/site), total bird density (birds/acre), species richness (species/site) and species diversity (Shannon Index H′); and determined the instances of riparian-obligate species and Riparian Habitat Joint Venture focal species (hereby riparian-obligate/focal species) using the restored and unrestored sites. Finally, at each site, they estimated percent vegetation cover, land cover pattern and the proportion of native to nonnative plant species for upperstory, midstory, understory, and ground habitat layers.


Contacts for the Project

Phil Stevens
Executive Director
Urban Creeks Council
Phone: 510.356.0591 Ext. 2
Email: Phil@UrbanCreeks.org

Kristen Van Dam
Restoration Coordinator
Urban Creeks Council
Phone: 510.356.0591 Ext. 3
Email: Kristen@UrbanCreeks.org

Jill Bluso Demers
Executive Director
San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory
Phone: (408) 946-6548
E-mail: JDemers@sfbbo.org
Website: www.sfbbo.org

Quick Links

Project Photos

Male Anna's Hummingbird

Locations of riparian study sites in Contra Costa County, California.

Reference - Location of riparian study Contra Costa County in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Last modified: 7/18/2012 4:26 AM by S. Haren

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