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Peak Health

Peak Health

184
Bird Species
250
Native Animal Species
1000
Plant Species
36000
Acres Studied
Wildlife Acorn woodpecker | Photo by Nagarajan Kanna

Wildlife

Wildlife are found in every habitat type on the mountain, where they may be grazers, predators, or prey.

Plants Serpentine Barrens | One Tam Image Library

Plants

Plant communities, and their arrangement on the landscape, are the foundation of ecosystem health.

Landscapes Landscapes | Photo by Mason Cummings

Landscapes

Most of Mt. Tam’s plant communities are suffering the effects of climate change, invasive species, plant disease, and fire. 

An Ecological Treasure in Our Backyard

The San Francisco Bay Area is part of a nationally and internationally recognized biodiversity hotspot and part of the UNESCO Golden Gate Biosphere Reserve. Located right on San Francisco’s doorstep, Mt. Tam is a vital refuge for many threatened, endangered, and special status species, and is an important link in a much larger network of interconnected open spaces, including the 195,000 acres of protected open space in Marin County that many other plants and wildlife depend upon.

The mountain’s remarkable diversity is thanks to its location near the coast, and to its varied topography, which creates a confounding array of microclimates in a relatively small space. A wide range of soils—including beautiful but harshly metallic green serpentine—create unique niches for different plant communities, and for the animals that depend upon them.  

While Mt. Tam’s plants and animals live in protected open spaces, invasive non-native plants and animals, changing wildfire patterns, plant diseases such as Sudden Oak Death, and climate change still threaten their survival. One Tam partners are working together to monitor, restore, and protect the mountain so that it continues to thrive into the future. 

How Can I Help?

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?

This report represents the results of an unprecedented collaboration among Mt. Tam’s land managers, the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, and the scientific community to use the most current data and best expert judgment to understand and evaluate the mountain’s health.

 

The Overall Health of Mt. Tam

Fair condition, no change in trendMt. Tam’s natural resources are in an overall Fair condition and a trend of No Change. Some of the mountain’s plants and wildlife are thriving, while others are suffering the effects of invasive species, plant disease, changed fire frequencies, and climate change. However, even some of those in decline are at a point where their trajectory can still be improved. The condition and trend of many species or groups like invertebrates and bats remain largely unknown.

Learn more through the links to the WildlifePlants, and Landscapes health indicator assessments above, or download the full report here or download our Health Report at a Glance sheet.

 

Many People, Working Together

  • Work Underway
    Stewardship and management has been underway for decades within the One Tam area of focus.
  • Information Gaps
    This assessment process revealed critical data gaps for a number of important health indicators.
  • What We Did
    Determining how to measure the health of the mountain’s resources required a collaborative, iterative, and multi-faceted approach.