This IBA is centered on Lake Success, a mid-sized Sierra foothill reservoir on the Tule River. It includes the extensive grassland surround the lake (particularly well-developed on the north side), as well as the riparian habitat along each arm of the Tule River as it enters the lake from the east, and below the spillway of the dam.

Ornithological Summary

The open, valley-floor grassland north and west of Lake Success often stays wet into early summer, when it supports large numbers of breeding Grasshopper Sparrow and, in a nearby quarry pond, thousands of breeding Tricolored Blackbirds (W. Principe, via email). Burrowing Owl, widely extirpated along the base of the Sierras, is still resident here, and is joined by a diverse raptor community in winter that historically included California Condor. Bald and Golden eagles and Prairie Falcon still winter in numbers, and the latter two breed in the area. The riparian habitat here has received virtually no coverage by birders during summer, but has recently been found to support Yellow-breasted Chat (A. Frolich, pers. comm.) and likely holds several other riparian-obligate breeders. Winter brings thousands of waterfowl to the reservoir, especially American Wigeon and Common Merganser, and late fall finds hundreds of shorebirds along the muddy border along the north side, many of which over-winter.

Help us learn more about the birds at this IBA! Enter your birding data online at Calfornia eBird! (http://ebird.org/california/)

Conservation Issues

As Porterville expands east toward the foothills, the flat and rolling grassland in the area will continue to come under development pressure, as much of it is still in private ownership. An active conservation constituency in the area, spearheaded by the Sierra-Los Tulares Land Trust, has generated interest in large-scale open space preservation in the region, linking the remaining valley floor grassland with the Sierras via the Tule River corridor.

Ownership

As Porterville expands east toward the foothills, the flat and rolling grassland in the area will continue to come under development pressure, as much of it is still in private ownership. An active conservation constituency in the area, spearheaded by the Sierra-Los Tulares Land Trust, has generated interest in large-scale open space preservation in the region.

Habitat

This IBA is centered on Lake Success, a mid-sized Sierra foothill reservoir on the Tule River. It includes the extensive grassland surrounding the lake as well as the riparian habitat along each arm of the Tule River as it enters the lake from the east, and below the spillway of the dam. The open, valley-floor grassland north and west of Lake Success often stays wet into early summer. There's a quarry pond nearby.

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