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Fisher Creek runs through the heart of Coyote Valley, which is just a few miles south of downtown San Jose, as the crow flies. This modest watercourse is a lifeline for wildlife who inhabit the valley floor and move between the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains and Diablo Range.
In a broader context, it is an important feature in the landscape linkage that is Coyote Valley — a relatively small area that connects and supports the resilience of over 1.13 million acres of protected open spaces and core habitats.
Given that the creek functions as a corridor for wildlife, we have been working with our partners to deepen our understanding of its role in the landscape. Watch this short video to learn more about what we’re uncovering through our work at Fisher Creek:
Last summer, with funding from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, we partnered with the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority, Wilmers Lab at UC Santa Cruz, California Department of Fish & Wildlife, Santa Clara Valley Habitat Agency and Pathways for Wildlife to track bobcats via radio collars. You can read more about that project here. In support of the bobcat study, we have been using a widely dispersed array of motion-activated cameras, including several stations along the Fisher Creek corridor.
These cameras have revealed a glimpse into the action within Fisher Creek. As seen in the video above, we’ve documented multiple bobcats cruising along the creek as they make their rounds on the valley floor. We’ve also photographed coyotes, opossums, raccoons and even a red-shouldered hawk in the creek bed.
It’s clear that Fisher Creek is alive!
These studies continue to inform our conservation strategies in Coyote Valley. The creek frontage was the main reason why, in the last year and a half, POST protected the 63-acre Fisher’s Bend and the 30-acre Fisher Flats properties – both important pieces in protecting this last-chance landscape. Most recently, we have been working with our partners to identify opportunities to restore and enhance habitat on these two properties. Stay tuned as we continue to learn more about this complex and critically important landscape for Bay Area wildlife.
Learn more about our work in Coyote Valley here.
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Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) protects open space on the Peninsula and in the South Bay for the benefit of all. Since its founding in 1977, POST has been responsible for saving more than 77,000 acres as permanently protected land in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. Learn more