NRS Makes the Countdown

NRS Makes the Countdown 1The conservation work of the NRS has gained international recognition. Endangered species reintroduction at the James San Jacinto Mountains Reserve is one of the 20 biodiversity success stories featured in Made in Countdown 2010, a publication of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Countdown 2010 initiative. The publication describes efforts to protect biodiversity by the 1,084 Countdown 2010 partners, which hail from over 60 countries. The NRS is the only group from North America included in the publication.

“It’s an honor to be chosen as one of the top 20 global success stories,” says NRS Director Peggy L. Fiedler. “This project, which involved breeding the mountain yellow-legged frog in captivity and translocating the eggs to the James San Jacinto Mountains Reserve, administered by UC Riverside, was a true collaboration. We worked closely with both public and private organizations, including the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, USDA Forest Service, California Department of Fish and Game, and the Zoological Society of San Diego. Our success is a testament to the expertise and dedication of all parties.”

Biologists release tadpoles of the endangered southern mountain yellow-legged frog into creek holding pens at the James San Jacinto Mountains Reserve. Image credit: Becca Fenwick

The chapter describes the refuge provided by NRS reserves to endangered and threatened species, and the system’s role in supporting research, stewardship, and education projects focused on biodiversity. The article also cites the identification of a new insect species at Sedgwick Reserve managed by UC Santa Barbara and the first California sighting of a wolverine in 86 years at Sagehen Creek Field Station near Truckee. The chapter further highlights NRS-based education programs such as Adventure Risk Challenge, which combines outdoor education and science classes with intensive English-language instruction, and the Exploring California Biodiversity courses for urban elementary school students held in cooperation with UC Berkeley. These and other field courses held at NRS sites bring the concept of biodiversity to life for hundreds of youngsters and college students every year.

The NRS Systemwide Office petitioned to become a Countdown 2010 signatory in February of this year. The petition pledged that the NRS would fight the causes of biodiversity loss in eight specific ways. These include supporting education about ecosystem biodiversity and developing new systemwide initiatives, such as establishing a seed bank for native California flora protected by the NRS.

Made in Countdown 2010 was unveiled September 8 at the Ghent Biodiversity Conference in Belgium. The Countdown 2010 initiative builds on the United Nations declaration of 2010 as the International Year of Biodiversity.

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