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Project Spotlight: Buena Vista Lake Shrew Surveys at Naval Air Station Lemoore, California

January 19, 2017

Vernadero was awarded a contract by Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest to conduct protocol-level presence/absence surveys for the Buena Vista Lake shrew (Sorex ornatus relictus) at Naval Air Station Lemoore, California. The BVLS is listed as endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and is one of nine subspecies of ornate shrews in California.

Vernadero's biologists will perform surveys for BVLS in potentially suitable habitat using a variety of techniques. Initial BVLS surveys will be conducted using baited camera stations. If camera station surveys detect BVLS, and if the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Naval Air Station Lemoore approve further survey efforts, live trapping will be performed to capture BVLS. Captured shrews will be weighed, marked with a nontoxic marker to indicate they were previously trapped (in case of recapture), and approximately 2 millimeters of tissue will be collected from the tip of the tail for genetic analysis. The shrews will then be released at the capture site. Surveys for BVLS are scheduled to start in late winter 2017.