Vernal Pools
San Diego National Wildlife Refuge ShinoharaRestoration of vernal pool and coastal sage scrub habitats
Vernal Pools
Looking for endangered San Diego Fairy Shrimp in vernal poolsPhoto by Joanna Gilkeson, USFWS CC2.0

The San Diego National Wildlife Refuge Shinohara restoration project consists of approximately 31 acres of vernal pool and coastal sage scrub habitats in Bonita, California. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hired Natures Image to control the spread of exotic weeds.

Vernal pools are temporary pools of water that provide habitat for distinctive plants and animals. They are covered by shallow water from winter to spring but may be completely dry in the summer and fall. These unique ecosystems provide food for many species of birds.

When Natures Image started the job, the site was predominantly bare soil. Dead herbaceous plants covered much of the site, and dead weedy species were prevalent within the pools.

Natures Image weeded the area by hand and applied herbicides, reestablishing a healthy vernal pool habitat where existing vernal pool flora and fauna are likely to persist. We also reintroduced native flora and fauna as appropriate.

We successfully controlled the exotic weed coverage, achieving no more than 10 percent of exotic annual weeds in the uplands and no more than 5 percent in the vernal pools.


U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Habitat Type:

  • Vernal pool
  • Coastal sage scrub


  • Aquatic Planting
  • Exotic Weed Abatement
  • Maintenance
  • Pesticide Spraying
  • Site Clearance
  • Sustainable Revegetation
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