Amador, Calaveras County and Tuolumne Counties received a subgrant through the California Association of Resource Conservation District’s (CARCD) “Habitat Restoration Through Climate Resilience” grant. CARCD received this grant from the California Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB). This subgrant gives our three RCD’s the funds to purchase 140 bird and bat boxes, and raptor perches, as well as 20 camera traps. Of these 20 cameras, three will have the capacity to livestream video. Once a minimal number of boxes are put in place, usage by birds/bats will be monitored and the livestream cameras will be placed at the most active sites. These cameras will be evenly distributed between the three counties. As usage changes, we will have the ability to move the livestream camera to capture heightened activities. Each RCD will have the ability to livestream this feed to their website. Livestream cameras will require cell phone coverage. Still photos of animal activities at structures will also be downloaded to RCD websites.
Gordon Long, Executive Director of Calaveras County RCD will be the lead for this project. He is also a Certified Wildlife Biologist. He will call upon other District staff and volunteers to carry out the implementation of this project.
There is an outreach program to reach willing landowners who would like to volunteer their land for placement of these wildlife structures. There is a chance that a large parcel of land that has variable habitat types could receive more than one structure within this grant, we want to spread these structures to all willing landowners who want to participate. While placement of structures will be based on a first-come, first-served basis, we want to have them in multiple habitat types and elevations across the landscape.
We expect all boxes to be placed on existing trees or structures. Placement of raptor perches may require some ingenuity to get some of them high enough in the air to offer benefit to raptors that prefer wide open spaces.
Species that may targeted for these structures include: wood duck, blue bird, barn owl, western screech owl, acorn woodpecker, American kestrel, sharp-shinned hawk, red-tailed hawk, Coopers hawk, California myotis, pallid bat, Mexican free-tailed bat, little brown bat. This is a partial list. Once a structure goes up, who knows what species actually might utilize it? Habitat type and condition, elevation, proximity to human activity impacts wildlife distribution and density.
It is planned to begin visiting interested landowners in June, 2023. The grant runs through March 2027. All structures will become the property of the landowner at the end of the Project, unless landowner wishes to have it removed at the end of the grant. All cameras remain the property of the RCD’s, and will be removed by the end of the Project.
Click link below if you would like to have one of these boxes placed on your property.WCB Fact Sheet_Interest Form.pdf