Endangered "Creatures" of Carlsbad Lagoon



The Batiquitos Lagoon in Carlsbad, California is a coastal wetland that is run by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. This wetland is one of only a few tidal wetlands on the southern coast of California. It is considered to be a nature reserve and has been designated as a Marine Protected area.

You are able to see and experience the lagoon from a nature trail that is on the north side of the lagoon. The lagoon is 610 acres and has a drainage basin that is about 55,000 acres. Silt has been accumulating and filing the lagoon. It was expected that within 50 years, the Batiquitos Lagoon would have been completely filled. But instead, a project to dredge and enhance the lagoon was started in 1994 that would slow the amount of silt that would fill the lagoon by opening it to the flow and changes of the ocean's tide.

There is a great number of birds, plants, and fish that live in or visit the Batiquitos Lagoon in Carlsbad. Now not all of them are endangered, but there are some that are. There are around 185 different species of birds that have been seen at the lagoon. Of those, there are a handful that are endangered and have found refuge, at least for some time, at the lagoon. The Snowy Plover and Clapper Rail are both types of shorebirds that are endangered. Shorebirds are birds that have long legs, long, pointed wings, and narrow, pointed beaks. They will look for their food along the shoreline and the majority of them will migrate when the time comes.

The Least Tern is a flying/diving bird that is endangered. This type of bird will fly low over the water and look for their meal of fish. Once they locate it, they will dive into the water to catch it. The Belding's Savannah Sparrow is a land bird that frequents the wetlands around the lagoon.

There are two plants that have been located in the area of the lagoon that are endangered. The first is the salt marsh bird's beak. This plant typically grows best in salt marsh areas, which is why it has been found in this area. The spiny rush is another plant that calls the lagoon home. Both of these plants are protected in the area of the lagoon.

There are several amphibians and reptiles that are endangered that have called the Batiquitos Lagoon home. The Western Spadefoot is a toad that is either green or grey with a whitish belly. The San Diego Horned Lizard is a lizard that appears to have hard and spiky skin, but it is actually soft. The Two-Striped Garter Snake is an aquatic snake that typically grows to be 18 to 30 inches in length. It is typically dark in color with the exception of a yellowish stripe that runs along the length of the snake. The Southwestern Pond Turtle is a small to medium sized turtle that is usually dark brown or a dull olive. All of these amphibians have been known to call the lagoon their home.

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