Throughout April and May this year, biologists at the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge will be conducting plant surveys for the endangered Antioch Dunes evening primrose (Oenothera deltoides howellii) and Contra Costa wallflower (Erysimum capitatum angustatum).
These two plants are exclusively found at the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge in Antioch, California, where years of sand mining at the Antioch Dunes has pushed these plants (and the Lange’s metalmark butterfly) nearer to extinction. That’s why refuge staff need your help counting plants to inventory the refuge’s populations. Plants counts are scheduled for the following dates:
- Wednesday, April 22nd – 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Contra Costa wallflowers)
- Thursday, April 23rd – 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Contra Costa wallflowers)
- Wednesday, May 20th – 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Antioch Dunes evening primrose)
- Thursday, May 21st – 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Antioch Dunes evening primrose)
Newcomers and veterans alike are welcome to participate, but participants must be 18 years or older. Volunteers are cautioned to wear layered clothing in anticipation of the unpredictable cold, wind, or listless heat; sturdy shoes/boots and long pants (jeans) for uneven terrain and spiky weed seeds; knee-pads; sun-protection (e.g. sunblock, sunglasses, hat) and plenty of water; and your lunch.
If you are interested in volunteering for the April/May plant counts, please contact Susan Euing (by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (510) 521-9716). If you leave a message, please leave your name, phone number and email address, and Susan will contact you as soon as possible to confirm.
Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that writing about the Lange’s metalmark butterfly and the Antioch Dunes for Bay Nature magazine in 2005 was the genesis behind my children’s book, Sardis and Stamm. You can read more about the book – and order a copy for your shelves – here: