Quail Ridge Reserve

Quail Ridge
Quail Ridge Reserve/photo by Lobsang Wangdu

Located on a precipitous peninsula in one of the driest parts of the northern Coast Ranges, the Quail Ridge Reserve projects into Lake Berryessa and provides outstanding remnants of native grassland, savanna, and oak woodland habitats, extensive chaparral, and several small ponds. The reserve has become an innovative resource for cross-disciplinary research and instruction, including studies on wireless networks and automated animal tracking.

The 2020 LNU Lightning Complex fire burned the entire understory of the reserve. Fire intensity varied across the landscape and different habitats, resulting in a suite of regeneration timelines.

Field Courses

A variety of college and university courses from UC Davis and surrounding schools use the reserve. Courses include ecology, wildlife biology, entomology, herpetology, and botany.

Public Outreach

Outreach activities are coordinated with Stebbins Cold Canyon Reserve, which is open to the public.

Quail Ridge Reserve 1

Selected Research

  • Floral studies include effects of grazing on the evolution of plant life history; pollen loads in Clarkia unguiculata; and spatial segregation of coyote brush.
  • Biological surveys of butterflies, rodents, reptiles, and amphibians.
  • Ringtail home range, territory size, and density in foothill woodlands.
  • Studies of wild turkey populations.
  • Lyme disease studies.

Ross Brennan
Reserve Director
Natural Reserve System
501 Engineering Way
Davis, CA 95616
Phone: 530-752-9178
Quail Ridge Reserve website

Southeast Napa County, on a southern peninsula of Lake Berryessa; 45 minute drive from the Davis campus.

Several overnight options are available for individuals and groups of up to 40 people. The field station includes a laboratory/workspace. Camping areas are available for class use.

The reserve bibliography includes citations of journal articles, books, theses, art, and other works published about or based on activities conducted at the reserve.

Plant List
Natural history handbook with species lists; meteorological; GIS layers; herpetological arrays.

Reserve director and steward

1,010 hectares (2,500 acres)

134 to 462 m (440 to 1,516 ft.)

62 cm (24 in.) per year.

January: 8 ºC (46 ºF)
July: 28 ºC (82 ºF)
Dendra Weather Data

frog fungus
Imani Russell sweeps a pond at Quail Ridge Reserve in search of frogs to sample. Image credit: Lobsang Wangdu
Quail Ridge
Quail Ridge
Quail Ridge: Shane Waddell