California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Crestridge ER - Regional Ecological Significance

Crestridge Ecological Reserve

The Crestridge Ecological Reserve is a large island of habitat almost entirely surrounded by residential development. It is centrally located at the eastern edge of urban development between Multiple Species Conservation Program (MSCP) lands to the north of Interstate 8 and MSCP lands to the south of Interstate 8 and thus may function as a habitat linkage. Despite its proximity to urbanization, much of Crestridge shows relatively few signs of disturbance. Crestridge supports mature riparian woodlands and Engelmann oak woodlands, surrounded by coastal sage scrub and chaparral. These habitats provide nesting and foraging habitat for raptor species, including the white-tailed kite (Elanus leucurus) and Cooper's hawk (Accipiter cooperi). The reserve supports a wide diversity of native butterflies and native plant species, including bunch grasses and sensitive herbaceous species. Crestridge supports the largest known populations of Lakeside ceanothus (Ceanothus cyaneus) and Hermes copper butterfly (Lycaena hermes). The coastal sage scrub habitat on the west end of the reserve may function as one of the "stepping stones" for coastal sage scrub birds, including the California gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica californica), in the Lakeside archipelago of coastal sage scrub.

The reserve is valued as open space by the surrounding community of Crest. Crestridge was also valued in prehistoric times, as evidenced by the existence of archeological sites on the reserve, including an ancient village.