Coastal Dune Milk Vetch [Astragalus tener Gray var. titi (Eastw.) Barneby]
Listing CNPS List 1B R-E-D Code 3-3-3
State/Federal. Status -- CE/C1 FABACEAE Mar.-May
Global Rank G1T1 State Rank S1.1
Distribution: San Diego County, Los Angeles County, Monterey County
Habitat: Coastal dunes are the preferred habitat based on historical records. The high degree of vegetation disturbance to the entire Southern California coastal strand accounts for the likely local extirpation of this species. In Monterey County the population is subject to repeated, dense fogs.
Known Sites: This annual was probably extirpated by Naval Amphibious Base exercises on the Silver Strand in the distant past, or by recreational beach use. This is another beach dune species whose habitat is extremely degraded in San Diego County. No other confirmed reports are known from San Diego County; several historical reports were based on misidentifications. Elsewhere, one population for this species is known to be extant on a bluff on the coast in Monterey County, 0.25 mile north of Bird Rock Road along 17 mile Drive where it is endangered by foot/horse/auto traffic. Historical reports are from Moss Beach, Pacific Grove, and Monterey on Monterey Bay; as well as a site on the coast of San Luis Obispo County. It is presumed extirpated in Los Angeles County where collected at Santa Monica in 1891 by Hasse, and at Hyde Park.
Status: The Coastal Dune Milk Vetch is presumed extirpated in the Southern California and close to extinction. All populations should be protected with adequate buffers included. This plant should be listed as Federally Endangered based on its known extant population in Monterey County. Horticultural requirements should be investigated, and seeds from plants at this locale should be considered for establishment at historical locales where the species is no longer present. Taxonomic links between the Monterey population and the lone San Diego County site (based on Purer's 1930's collection) should be re-examined, given the considerable distance between these locales and the few intervening, historical populations.
Copyright © May 1994 Craig H. Reiser.
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