Habitat and Wildlife

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There are many reasons to preserve Banning Ranch and keep it as a nature park.  Daily coastal ocean breezes bring fresh air, providing a wonderful place to enjoy some quiet and quality time with nature, as well as lots of natural trails for hiking (the kind your feet like, not the concrete ones at an urban park).

However, one of the best reasons to preserve Banning Ranch is the incredible amount of wildlife. Because its use has been limited to oil production for the last 70 years, Banning Ranch has escaped the dense residential development characteristics so prevalent in Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, and Huntington Beach.  Banning Ranch has become “nature’s last stand” by providing some of the only remaining habitat (including purple needlegrass grassland and coastal sage scrub) for rare animal species (link “rare animal species” to “Rare Animal Species” page, attached) found along the southern California coast.  Much of Banning Ranch has been recognized by the state of California as Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Area.

Just some of the wildlife and habitat that has been found in and around the Banning Ranch area is pictured below:


Red Tailed Hawk
Red Tailed Hawk
California Least TernCalifornia Least Tern Western Snowy Plover
Western Snowy Plover
White-Faced Ibis White-Faced Ibis Willow Flycatcher Willow Flycatcher Wilson's-Warbler Wilson’s Warbler
Yellow Warbler Yellow Warbler Burrowing Owl Burrowing Owl California Gnatcatcher California Gnatcatcher
Cactus Wren Cactus Wren Bell's Vireo Bell’s Vireo Anna's Hummingbird Anna’s Hummingbird
Savannah Sparrow Savannah Sparron Black Skimmer Black Skimmer California Gull California Gull
Cooper's Hawk Cooper’s Hawk Double Crested Cormorant Double-Crested Cormorant Elegant Tern Elegant Tern
Loggerhead Shrike Loggerhead Shrike Long Billed Curlew Long-Billed Curlew Peregrine Falcon Peregrine Falcon
Osprey Osprey Allen's Hummingbird Allen’s Hummingbird Clapper Rail Clapper Rail


Lowland Western Toad Lowland Western Toad Pacific Tree Frog Pacific Tree Frog Southern Alligator Lizard Southern Alligator Lizard
Western Fence Lizard Western Fence Lizard Side-Blotched Lizard Side-Blotched Lizard Common Kingsnake Common Kingsnake
Audubon Cottontail Audubon Cottontail Gopher Snake Gopher Snake Opossum Opossum
Ornate Shrew Ornate Shrew Coyote Coyote Long-Tailed Weasel Long-Tailed Weasel
California Ground Squirrels California Ground Squirrel San Diego Fairy Shrimp San Diego Fairy Shrimp


Mule Fat Cattail Cockelbur
California Bulrush Saltbush and Gnatcatcher Saltbush Horseweed
Curley Dock Alkali Heath Morning Glory Morning Glory
Marsh Fleabane Marsh Fleabane California Everlasting California Everlasting Narrow Leaved Milkweed Narrow Leaved Milkweed
Jimsonweed and Buckwheat Jimsonweed and Buckwheat