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GET OUT AND CELEBRATE ENDANGERED SPECIES DAY

With Endangered Species Day on May 19, the weather is syncing up nicely for a nature outing.

Irvine Ranch Conservancy’s Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks has a few species it is highlighting for the day as it works to restore or maintain them on its preserves.

The Tecate cypress became endangered at the Landmarks following a 2006 fire, but since then, seedlings have been planted and the baby trees are continuing to grow, according to the IRC “News from the Field” blog.

Tecate cypress is found in Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve.

The coastal California gnatcatcher was listed as federally threatened in 1993 under the Endangered Species Act, according to the IRC blog. Fortunately, the gray songbird – which has a chirp like a kitten’s meow – is now on the rise and can be spotted at the Landmarks. It is still, however, listed as a “species of concern.”

Gnatcatcher is found in Bommer Canyon, Blackstar Canyon, Limestone Canyon and elsewhere on the Landmarks.

Also a species of concern is the cactus wren, an active bird colored speckled brown and offering a scratchy-sounding call, according to the IRC blog. The birds are often spotted hopping through the coastal sage scrub at the Landmarks.

Cactus wren is found in Bommer Canyon, Limestone Canyon and elsewhere on the Landmarks.

Here’s a list of upcoming activities if you want to try and see or help out these species:

May 19: Be a Friend to the Cactus Wren

May 19: Better Birding Basics

May 20: Adopt a Canyon, Agua Chinon Stewardship

May 20: Art in the Landmarks: A Day Full of Painting

May 20: Family Hike: Agua Chinon

May 20: Wilderness Access Day, Bommer Canyon, self-guided

May 21: The Natural History of Baker Canyon

Activities on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks are free, but require registration. To sign up, go to www.LetsGoOutside.org.

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