There are a lot of skills that restoration ecologist Rachel Spadafore relies on as project lead on the restoration of Sonoma Creek Marsh. She is one of Audubon California's foremost plant experts and can discuss soil quality with the best of them. Now, thanks to her experience with this project, she can add mice herding to her repertoire.
Sonoma Creek is home to the salt marsh harvest mouse. This rodent is endemic to San Francisco Bay salt marshes and is listed on both the state and federal endangered species lists. The healthy, functioning wetland that Audubon is creating in Sonoma Creek will greatly benefit this local population.
But in order to drive in and out the heavy machinery needed to create the wetland, the restoration crew required an access road. To prevent any injury to the mouse population, Rachel spent yesterday flushing the critters from the access road location. She summed up the experience as, "herding mice is a lot like herding cats."
We are happy to report that no mice were harmed and the completion of the road was a success.