Introduction to Summer 2015 Ecesis, Volume 25, Issue 2
Over the last decade or so, large intense fires have damaged coastal cactus wren habitat in San Diego County including lands on the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge. Populations of coastal cactus wrens have also declined in Preserve areas not yet affected by wildfires. This recent trend of cactus wren population decline has been observed in other regions of southern California as well. Genetic researchers have found low population densities and lack of gene flow between some populations of wrens in southern San Diego County and this could lead to genetic bottlenecks. Regional recovery efforts for coastal populations of cactus wrens are intended to stabilize and eventually increase population sizes.