“The UCI Ecological Preserve is a 60 acre site on the southern edge of UC Irvine campus located adjacent to the University Hills community, Irvine Research Park, and the San Joaquin Transportation Corridor. It is a part of the UC Irvine main campus and is managed by UCI-NATURE for the Office of Research. The Preserve is enrolled in the Nature Reserve of Orange County, a 38,000 acre Habitat Conservation Plan providing protection for species and habitat impacted by development. As a participant in the reserve system, the University works in collaboration with the Natural Communities Coalition, who coordinates land management, monitoring, and research across the reserve system (https://occonservation.org/).
Ecologically, the Preserve consists of coastal sage scrub and disturbed grassland habitats and sustains nesting pairs of the threatened California gnatcatcher and coastal cactus wren, both sensitive species associated with coastal sage scrub.
The Preserve is used for research and is a cherished and scenic campus asset. It’s panoramic view encompasses much of the campus, with the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island as a westerly backdrop. The Ecological Preserve has seen extensive research efforts over the years, including many publications, theses, and surveys of plants and animals ranging from bobcats, California gnatcatchers, and cactus wrens to research focused upon restoration ecology and plant-animal interactions.”