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Photo courtesy of Robert Potts,
California Academy of Science
Open Space canyons and parklands contain diverse plant communities and homes for many different species of insects, birds, mammals, and reptiles. Many of San Diego's endangered habitats, on which numerous species depend for survival, are found in the canyons. Some of these canyons contain riparian woodlands that follow the stream along the canyon floor as can be seen in Ruffin Canyon.
Juniper Canyon provides coastal sage habitat for the endangered bird called the California Gnatcatcher which can often be heard making it's distinctive "kitten meowing" call during the spring/summer nesting season.
Gonzales Canyon serves as an important wildlife corridor for the Bobcat by providing habitat area connections.
Specific plant communities such as Coastal Sage Scrub and Chaparral offer wildflower shows at various times of year. Look for the large cherry like fruit on the Holly Leaf Cherry bushes in Swan Canyon in early fall.