Measuring the health of Mt. Tam

Maintaining a healthy, vibrant and diverse Mt. Tam begins with understanding how key ecological resources are faring, and how we can better care for this iconic and beloved place.

One Tam partners and Bay Area scientists have come together to try to answer the question: How healthy are Mt. Tam's natural resources?

American Badger

American Badger

Photo by Yathin

Why Was This Indicator Chosen?

The American badger (Taxidea taxus) may be found in larger patches of grasslands and coastal scrub habitats where they prey upon small mammals. This California Department of Fish and Wildlife-designated sensitive species (CDFW, 2016) was historically persecuted by ranchers and is vulnerable to habitat fragmentation and habitat loss, vehicle strikes, and rodenticide exposure (Lay, 2008).


What is Healthy?

American badgers are detected at all Marin Wildlife Picture Index project camera locations in grassland or coastal scrub habitat patches greater than 1,000 acres in the One Tam area of focus.

What Are the Biggest Threats?

  • Human impacts including habitat loss, fragmentation, and development, vehicle strikes, rodenticide exposure, and the residual effects of past land uses and trapping

What is The Current Condition?

The current status of American badgers on Mt. Tam is Unknown. Data from remote cameras installed through the Marin Wildlife Picture Index project will provide information to assess American badger populations in the future. Cameras on nearby Marin County Parks lands outside of the One Tam area of focus have already captured photos of badgers.

What is the Current Trend?

The trend is also Unknown, as there is not currently enough data to assess the trend of American badgers on Mt. Tam.

How Sure Are We?

Until American badgers are detected on in the One Tam area of focus, our certainty level is also Unknown.

What is This Assessment Based On?

Baseline data are still being established for this species.

What Don’t We Know?

Key information gaps include:

  • Inventory data on American badgers in the One Tam area of focus
Downloads
American Badger Indicator Overview

Learn More

References:

California Department of Fish and Wildlife. (2016). California Natural Diversity Database: Special animals list (Periodic publication). Available from: https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=109406&inline.

Lay, C. (2008). The status of the American badger in the San Francisco Bay Area (Master’s Thesis). Available from San Jose State University Scholar Works, Paper 3623: http://scholarworks.sjsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4619&context=etd_theses.