Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


Science & Environmental Policy


lotted for closure in 1991, the Former Fort Ord Military Base was closed in September of 1994, parcels were divided up and are in the process of being transferred to various recipients. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) received 7,500 acres for a nature preserve. It will receive another 8,000 acres after it is cleared of Ordinance and Explosives (OE). Fort Ord contains areas of development, oak woodlands, maritime chaparral, coastal dunes and scrub and annual grasslands, many with vernal pools. The integrity of this ecosystem may be measured by the health of its vertebrate carnivore populations. Carnivores influence the structure and reflect the vigor of trophic levels on which they depend, and they are also sensitive to the abundance and behavior of the human population with which they coexist. This study was an attempt to collect baseline data for future studies of carnivore populations, other vertebrates, and ecosystem health studies. The question of this study was Which species of the order Carnivorae exist on Fort Ord and in which habitats do they occur? Four methods were used to indicate the species type and location. Scent and photo stations in varied vegetation sites, night sightings, and an electronic form which was circulated via the California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB), and the BLM Fort Ord Project Office email systems requesting sighting data. This study shows the presence of these carnivores on Fort Ord Public lands: coyote (Canis latrans), bobcat (Lynx rufus), puma (Felis concolor), raccoon (Procyon lotor), grey fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), badger (Taxidea taxus) and ringtail (Bassariscus astutus). These carnivores varied by habitat and species diversity appears to increase with the presence of water (e.g. vernal pools). Further research into the populations and interactions of these species is recommended. A census of all the species indicated would provide information on the individuals within the various populations. Monitoring to detect changes in these population sizes spatially and temporally could then be developed and employed. There is an urgent need to develop monitoring schemes for carnivores on US Public Lands. These could then be combined with habitat assessments currently underway to create Habitat Suitability Indices for the few California coastal, maritime chaparral and oak-woodlands left.


Capstone Project (B.S.) Earth Systems Science & Policy Institute

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