Ellicott Slough National Wildlife Refuge

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Ellicott Slough National Wildlife Refuge
IUCN category IV (habitat/species management area)
Map showing the location of Ellicott Slough National Wildlife Refuge
Map showing the location of Ellicott Slough National Wildlife Refuge
Map of the United States
Location Santa Cruz County, California, United States
Nearest city Watsonville, California
Coordinates 36°55′36″N 121°50′17″W / 36.92661°N 121.838°W / 36.92661; -121.838Coordinates: 36°55′36″N 121°50′17″W / 36.92661°N 121.838°W / 36.92661; -121.838[1]
Area 168 acres (0.68 km2)
Established 1975
Governing body U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The people and public officials of San Francisco have made an effort to take a stand and conserve areas filled with endangered wildlife and/or critical habitat.[2] Out of these efforts, came the birth of The Ellicott Slough National Wildlife Refuge Complex, which is just one of the many parks under the San Francisco Bay national Wildlife Refuge Complex.Ellicott Slough National Wildlife Refuge is located in Santa Cruz County, California within the Monterey Bay area. The Refuge’s main goal is to preserve fish and wildlife to the best of their abilities. There are numerous species that are in critical condition in those parks, they are called Federally-listed Wildlife Species. Some of these species are the long-toed salamander, the California red-legged frog, the California tiger salamander and the robust spine flower. Other than the Federally listed, the refuge is also home to mammals, such as mice, gophers and squirrels to name a few. Ellicott Slough is located in Santa Cruz, California and was established after The California Department of Fish and Game purchased the property from its original owner. Due to the Refuge’s close proximity to the Pacific Ocean, its weather is influenced by marine life. Ellicott Slough NWRC is made up of 4 units. The Ellicott Unit, the Calabasas Unit, the Harkins Slough Unit and the Buena Vista Unit. All units are not farther than 2.7 miles from each other and therefore have similar geography. The weather in San Francisco is classified as mild, where the seasons do not reach extremes. According to the San Francisco Bay Wildlife Refuge Complex and Pacific Southwest Regional office’s study done on the Complex in 2010, “The mean daily temperature is about 50 to 75 F° minimum and 70 to 75 degrees F° maximum.” [3]The terrain is both hilly and flat. [4]

The Ellicott Unit[edit]

The Ellicott Unit is one of the two units that has a pond. The Ellicott pond is the breeding grounds for the Santa Cruz long-toed salamander. The dominant habitats found on the are northern coastal Shrub, San Andreas coastal live oak woodland, riparian woodland, closed-coned coniferous forest and coastal grassland. There are a few houses and farms surrounding the area.

The Calabasas Unit[edit]

The Calabasas Unit is the northern most unit of the other four. The Calabasas unit used to have a pond that served as a reservoir, but the government drained it after declaring it as unsafe. Houses and farms surround the unit.

The Harkins Slough Unit[edit]

The Harkins Slough Unit is the southern most of the other four. Its soil is mostly Clear Lake Clay. The unit contains some buildings and houses that are neglected and in need of repair. It is also home to gulls and white pelicans, which have been spotted at the unit probably because of nearby landfills. [5]

The Buena Vista Unit[edit]

The Buena Vista unit is close to the airport and is mostly uninterrupted by humans with the exception of one house and one garage that were built in 1951. This unit is the second unit to contain a pond that breeds Santa Cruz long-toad Salamanders.


  1. ^ "Ellicott Slough National Wildlife Refuge". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. 
  2. ^ Alameda, Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, CA. "Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge". Federal Register. 
  3. ^ Slough, Ellicott. "Ellicott Slough National Wildlife Refuge Complex" (PDF). U.S. Fish and Wildlife. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  4. ^ Loredo, Ivette. "Conceptual Management Plan". U.S. Dept. of the Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2005. 
  5. ^ Ellicott Slough National Wildlife Refuge, Santa Cruz County, CA. "Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Finding of No Significant Impact". Federal Registers. 

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.