Cactus Wren - Cactus Wrens have regularly been documented on Banning Ranch. Not just in the arroyos of Banning Ranch, but on the mesa as well. Below is a compilation of documented Cactus Wren habitat from 1992 - 2007. The survey in 2009 saw their numbers plummet on Banning Ranch. To ensure the survival of the Cactus Wren on Banning Ranch, all of their habitat must be preserved, including their habitat on the mesa. Building 1375 homes on the mesa would have a very harmful effect on the recovery of Cactus Wrens on Banning Ranch.
Gnatcatcher - Both of these species tend to nest in the same type of coastal sage scrub habitat. And while both Cactus Wrens and California Gnatcatchers are found in the arroyos of Banning Ranch, they are both found to nest on the mesa as well. The owners of Banning Ranch acknowledge that there is coastal sage scrub habitat on the mesa portion of Banning Ranch, but the owners claim that the coastal sage scrub habitat on the mesa is too disturbed to support wildlife. The repeated documentation of nesting Cactus Wrens and California Gnatcatchers on the mesa argues against this, and makes a very strong case that the mesa coastal sage scrub habitat qualifies as Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Area (ESHA) under the Coastal Act.
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