Wildlife Studies

Nomad’s wildlife biologists have a breath of species experience in the San Francisco Bay Area. This expertise is also supported though academic study on some of California’s most imperiled species.

California Red-Legged Frog habitat

California Red-Legged Frog

Senior Wildlife Biologist Meghan Bishop is an expert in the threatened California red-legged frog's (Rana draytonii) diet and habitat requirements. Her Master’s thesis, published in the Journal of Herpetology, demonstrated the importance of terrestrial prey in the CLRF diet and associated upland foraging habitat.

Ms. Bishop is currently conducting a study to determine the attributes of successful CLRF breeding habitat throughout the Bay Area. The study is measuring CLRF population sizes and documenting aquatic features, such as the type and percent cover of emergent vegetation, at breeding sites. More information can be found here. To date Nomad has sampled 80 ponds as a part of this effort.

In 2016 she partnered with the East Contra Costa County Habitat Conservancy and received a Local Assistance Grant to implement this study on Conservancy lands. The results will inform CLRF habitat conservation management and restoration planning efforts.

Western Pond Turtle

Western Pond Turtle

Mr. Terry studied western pond turtles (Emys marmorata) for his Master’s thesis at Mountain Lake in the Presidio of San Francisco, California. His research compared the effects of soft release and hard release techniques during the introduction of a founder population of western pond turtles into a restored aquatic habitat and demonstrated the importance of maternal effects on individual growth rates.

The western pond turtle is in decline, and with the future potential for listing as threatened or endangered, it is critical for land managers to understand how the species is using habitats within their lands. Trapping surveys may detect cryptic populations in areas that are not easily surveyed visually, providing more reliable data on where and how western pond turtles are using aquatic habitats. Nomad Ecology offers western pond turtle trapping services for clients to effectively monitor populations in aquatic habitats. More information on these services can be found here.