3 Interesting Facts About the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary

3 Interesting Facts About the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary

Resource Link: https://www.irwd.com/san-joaquin-marsh/san-joaquin-marsh

The San Joaquin wildlife sanctuary in Irvine California is one of the oldest reserves of its kind in the state of California. Its existence can be traced as far back as 1944 when a well was drilled in the San Joaquin marsh for irrigation for the surrounding area.

The marsh became fertile farmland where seasonal truck crops like sugar beets, lima beans, tomatoes, and peppers grew in abundance. Over the years, as farming activities in the area started to decline, the marsh was leased to several duck clubs which boosted the presence of wildlife in the area.

Today the marsh and its surrounding area is a bustling wildlife sanctuary where you come for the animals but stay for the experience and beauty of the natural landscape. Here are some of the most interesting facts about the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary in Irvine California.

  • The Marsh is a Popular Stop for Migratory Birds for Centuries

The Irvine Ranch which is connected to the Back Newport Bay has been a popular resting spot for birds of all types since before the area was ever settled. Because of this, it was known as a popular duck hunting spot since the early 1800s.

It is estimated that during the seasons where bird migration is at its peak, the area played host to several hundred thousand ducks of all species up until the 1960s when the area started to undergo significant urbanization.

The last duck hunting club in the area was known as the 20-ranch clubhouse, the building of which is used today as the headquarters of the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary. Since the area was such a historically significant stopover for birds, conservation efforts were started under the leadership of Peer swan, and due to his efforts, the area has continued to flourish to this day.

  • The Sanctuary is a Must-Visit Spot for Bird Watchers

Because of the area’s affinity with nature and wildlife, the sanctuary is one of the biggest hotspots for bird watching in California. Over the years avid bird watching enthusiasts have flocked to the sanctuary in hopes of getting a glimpse of some of the most majestic species known to man.

These include raptors such as the Golden Eagle, which is only occasionally seen at the marsh around October, peregrine falcon which can be observed year-round, the burrowing owl, a species that is suffering from significant decline, and the great horned owl in the winter months.

  • It is a Natural Habitat for Many Different Species of Wildlife

If bird watching is not your thing, there are also a ton of other animals that call the sanctuary home. A walk around the 300-acre freshwater marsh can open your and your children’s world up to a variety of animals in the area.

In spring you may be treated to a sighting of the various butterfly species that call the area home, you may also run into a reptile or two on your walks along the marsh. In the summer you may observe the majestic carp fish in the water gulping to the surface on the lookout for prey. You may even run into an occasional coyote, vole, or raccoon!

The San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary is an amazing reserve where you and your kids can get closer to nature and learn more about the animals which live side by side with us, humans, on this earth.

Get on I-405 S/San Diego Fwy from Riparian View, Campus Dr and Jamboree Rd
7 min (2.6 mi)

Head southwest
Restricted usage road
141 ft

Turn left toward Riparian View
Restricted usage road
141 ft

Slight left toward Riparian View
46 ft

Turn right onto Riparian View
0.5 mi

Turn right onto Campus Dr
0.9 mi

Turn right onto Jamboree Rd
0.8 mi

Use the right 2 lanes to take the ramp onto I-405 S/San Diego Fwy
0.4 mi

Follow I-405 S/San Diego Fwy to Bake Pkwy. Take exit 1B from I-405 S/San Diego Fwy
6 min (6.7 mi)

Merge onto I-405 S/San Diego Fwy
6.1 mi

Take exit 1B for Bake Pkwy
0.6 mi

Follow Bake Pkwy to your destination
3 min (0.9 mi)

Use the left 3 lanes to turn left onto Bake Pkwy
0.7 mi

Make a U-turn at Rockfield Blvd
0.1 mi

Turn right
102 ft

Turn right
Destination will be on the left

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