A team of five field biologists led by Patrick Kobernus of CREcology were hired to conduct a longitudinal study pre-, during and post-construction over five years to monitor the impact and/or benefit of the native landscaping to the flora and fauna ecology of the site. The team produces a report every year that is available upon request.
  • Conducted review of historical aerial photography back to 1949 to compare historical habitat types to current conditions on site.
  • Chronicled all flora and fauna native to the Town of Portola Valley (available in the Habitat Opportunities Report).
  • Prepared a Habitat Opportunities Report (available upon request) to establish habitat goals and objectives:
    • Restore native plant species
    • Increase micro-habitat diversity, increase wildlife species abundance and diversity
    • Maintain and improve wildlife corridors
    • Attract and potentially increase occurrences of rare species.
  • Addressed habitat goals through designation of six habitat zones:
    • oak savannah
    • rocky outcrop
    • wetland
    • meadow
    • redwood and riparian forest, riparian scrub
    • dry coastal scrub (thicket)

Habitat details

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  • There is no perimeter fencing on site to allow free movement of wildlife and we are working to augment existing game path.
  • Testing the efficacy of planting native grass sod within the wet meadow habitat zones on the property.
  • Relocated a large San Francisco dusky-footed woodrat (a California ‘species of special concern’) colony from within a chicken-house roof to a restored woodrat nest site on the southwest corner of the property. The nest structure may be the largest concentration of SF Dusky-footed woodrats ever recorded.
  • Conducted preconstruction surveys of nesting birds and adapted construction work to avoid a western scrub jay nest. Monitoring found that all three young scrub jays successfully fledged from the nest.
  • Monitored baseline conditions for wildlife on site prior to house deconstruction and construction of new home; longitudinal study by field biologists contracted to monitor site for minimum of 5 years after construction and landscape installation:
    • Monitoring medium-sized mammals using camera traps
    • Monitoring birds using timed searches
    • Monitoring reptiles and amphibians using cover boards
  • Monitoring bats using acoustic surveys
The Project