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Leopold Biological Services


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​​PO BOX 421222 SAN DIEGO CA 92142 US   Tel: (619) 249-2531   Fax:  (858) 256-0871

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Spring's the breeding season for many birds and one of the best times of year to conduct surveys for sensitive plant and wildlife species.  Leopold Biological Services is ramping up for another lively field season and we've recently augmented our permit portfolio with two permits, expanding our avian survey and monitoring capabilities.

Leopold is proud to announce we now hold a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 10(a)(1)(A) Recovery Permit and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to conduct presence/absence surveys and nest monitoring for the Federal and State-listed endangered least Bell's vireo (Vireo bellii Pusillus).

In addition, Leopold has received an MOU to engage in protocol presence/absence surveys and nest monitoring for Belding's savannah sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis beldingi), a State-listed endangered species.

The current range for least Bell's vireo includes Santa Barbara County, northeast to the Mojave River in San Bernardino County, south to San Diego County with approximately 50% of the population on drainages within Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in San Diego County.  Least Bell's vireo surveys are conducted April 10 through July 31 in potentially occupied riparian habitat.  Land development and other projects may require variance in least Bell's vireo survey protocol, extending the survey period through August 31.  Extending the least Bell's vireo survey period allows for additional time required to collect the necessary data for census and extended home range, after the young have fledged and the home range has expanded into bordering habitat.  This information is particularly useful in the project's design for avoiding and minimizing impacts to the greatest extent practicable, ultimately saving the client time and money.

Belding's savannah sparrow's breeding season is generally defined as March through July.  The subspecies is found year-round in Southern Coastal Salt Marsh and is ecologically associated with dense pickleweed (Salicornia virginica).   Belding's savannah sparrow's range extends from Santa Barbara County to San Diego County and into Baja California.

Now is the time to assess your project for least Bell's vireo and Belding's savannah sparrow if construction is scheduled this Spring.  In order to avoid project delays and additional costs, it's recommended that presence/absence surveys be completed within the nesting activity period.

​Please feel free to contact Christine Harvey at (619) 249-2531 with any questions regarding project requirements for these species.

Leopold Augments Endangered Species Permit Portfolio

Leopold Augments Endangered Species Permit Portfolio


Christine Harvey


Leopold Biological Services

​PO Box 421222

San Diego, CA 92124

Phone:  (619) 249-2531


Least Bell's Vireo and Belding's Savannah Sparrow Photo by Vic Murayama