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A successful partnership of life, community, and the City of Torrance.

Animal and Plant Species of Madrona Marsh

The Madrona Marsh Preserve has been designated as a Significant Ecological Area by Los Angeles County, which means it contains irreplaceable biological resources.

101 species in the Madrona Marsh Preserve are Special Status, that is, native species that have been accorded special legal or management protection because of their continued existence is in question. There are several categories of protection at federal and state levels, depending upon the magnitude of threat and knowledge of existing population sizes. Several plant and animal species are in decline locally and are categorized as “species of local significance.” Some of these species inhabit the Preserve year-round, while others temporarily stop during migration.

Local plant and wildlife biologists and naturalists who assisted in compiling the species of local significance list include Jeannie Bellamin of El Camino Community College, Dr. Connie Vadheim of California State University, Dominguez Hills, Jess Morton of Palos Verdes / South Bay Audubon Society, David Moody of Friends of Madrona Marsh and Bob Shanman, Co-President of Palos Verdes / South Bay Audubon Society.


The botanical study shows that a total of 142 species of plants were collected, representing 40 families.
In 2013, there were sightings of 151 species of birds, including unusual sightings of Brandt's Comorant, Marbled Godwit, Herring Gull, Acorn Woodpecker, Lucy's Warbler, Green-tailed Towhee, Lawurence's Gold finsh and Europen Goldfinch.
Amphibians and Reptiles
The herpetological count showed a total of seven species using the marsh, four classes of amphibians and three of reptiles. It was concluded that the traffic on Maple Avenue makes it unlikely that these species could make successful forays across the street to the grasslands.
The mammal census recorded two or three native species, and the presence of two exotic species, on the marsh. The area adjacent to the marsh (110 acres) was found to be almost devoid of mammals.
The insect survey cited 67 families of insects using the area, with nineteen of these using both sites. No families of insects used only the grassland area. The researchers comment that the diversity of habitat on the marsh is an important factor in supporting the amount of insect life. They report that the grassland does not have the diversity to support a range of insect life. Two rare types of insects were reported on the marsh, one of which is currently being used in biological control of certain diseases.
Species List

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and Reptiles

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