Wandering Skipper Habitat Restoration to Begin September

wandering skipper, small brown butterfly.


E-mail : *
Nature Collective to Restore Vital Habitat for Wildlife in San Elijo Lagoon

Nature Collective begins a habitat restoration project in the West Basin of San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve (between the railroad and Coast Highway 101) in September 2023. Our efforts will focus on restoring salt marsh habitat for wildlife, including the wandering skipper, a butterfly found along the coast, and the federally endangered Belding’s Savannah Sparrow, both of which live in this rare habitat. 

The sandy project site is located along the west basin channel.Above: The 1 acre project site located in the West Basin near the lagoon inlet 

Coastal salt marsh is a rare and critical habitat for many species of wildlife, but it faces many challenges, including invasive plant species that outcompete native plants, which can lead to the loss of habitat for wildlife. 

Our restoration efforts, supported by a grant award from Seatrees by Sustainable Surf, will remove invasive plants and replant native plants. These native plants will provide food and shelter for wildlife, help to filter and improve water quality, and also support an abundance of species that all play a part in creating a more diverse and resilient ecosystem.

Green picklweed growing at the project siteAbove: Pickleweed (Salicornia pacifica) is a low growing, succulent plant

The project will be completed in phases starting in September 2023 including invasive plant removal, native plant replanting and monitoring which will continue through the summer of 2025.

Native replanting, with the help of volunteers, will include various marsh plant species, including Saltgrass (Distichlis spicata)  – the host plant for the wandering skipper ­– and Pickleweed (Salicornia pacifica) which will provide nesting habitat for the Belding’s Savannah Sparrow.

Nature Collective will monitor the project site by conducting wildlife surveys and evaluating native plant cover. 

Belding's Savannah Sparrow, a small brown bird with white flecksAbove: Belding’s Savannah Sparrow

Your donation helps us identify and receive grant awards to protect the wandering skipper butterfly and the federally endangered Belding’s Savannah Sparrow.

Thank you for supporting our efforts in giving nature a helping hand. Please give today.

Feature Image: The tiny wandering skipper can be found in coastal salt marshes

Related Stories