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Exhibited Species at the Chula Vista Nature Center

The collection of plants and animals exhibited at the Chula Vista Nature Center varies by season and availability of appropriate specimens. It is the intent of the curatorial staff to exhibit species representative of the local ecosystem for educational purposes. The listings provided below indicate species which have typically been maintained in the collection.

Raptors
Shorebirds & Waterfowl
Marine Life
Reptiles & Amphibians
Plants
Sweetwater Species

Raptors


America Kestrel, Falco sparverius
Cooper's Hawk, Accipiter cooperiiOsprey
Merlin, Falco columbarius
Osprey, Pandion haliaetus
Peregrine Falcon, Falco peregrinus
Red-shouldered Hawk, Buteo lineatus
Red-tailed Hawk, Buteo jamaicensis
Swainson's Hawk, Buteo swainsoni

Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura

Barn Owl, Tyto alba
Burrowing Owl, Athene cunicularia
Great Horned Owl, Bubo virginianus
Short-eared Owl, Asio flammeus
Western Screech Owl, Otus kennicottii

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Shorebirds & Waterfowl


Black-necked Stilt, Himantopus mexicanus
Cattle Egret, Bubulcus ibis
Great Egret, Ardea alba

Light-footed Clapper Rail, Rallus longirostris levipe

Snowy Egret, Egretta thula

Gadwall, Anas strepera
Hooded Merganser, Lophodytes cucullatus
Ruddy Duck, Oxyura jamaicensis

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Marine Life


Gray Smoothound Shark, Mustelus californicus
Horn Shark, Heterodontus francisci
Leopard Shark, Triakis semifasciata
Swell Shark, Cephalloscyllium ventriosum

Bat Ray, Myliobatis californica
California Butterfly Ray, Gymnura marmorata
Round Stingray, Urolophus halleriRound Stingray
Shovelnose Guitarfish, Rhinobatos productus
Thornback Ray, Platyrhinoidis triseriata

Arrow Goby, Clevelandia ios
Barred Sand Bass, Paralabrax nubulifer
Bay Blenny, Hypsoblennius gentilus
Bay Pipefish, Syngnathus leptorhynchus
Black Croaker, Cheilotrema saturnum

Black Perch, Embiotoca jacksoni
Blackeye Goby, Coryphopterus nicholsii
California Grunion, Leuresthes tenuis

California Halibut, Paralichthys californicus
Crevice Kelpfish, Gibbonsia montereyensis

California Killifish, Fundulus parvipinnis
California Lizardfish, Synodus lucioceps
California Needlefish, Strongylura exilis
California Scorpionfish, Scorpaena gutata

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California Tonguefish, Symphurus atricauda
Diamond Turbot, Hypsopsetta guttulata
Dwarf Perch, Micrometrus minimus

English Sole, Pleuronectes vetulus
Fantail Sole, Xystreurys liolepis
Garibaldi, Hypsypops rubicundus
Giant Kelpfish, Heterostichus rostratus
Hornyhead Turbot, Pleuronichthys verticalisPacific Seahorse

Jacksmelt, Atherinopsis californiensis
Pacific Seahorse, Hippocampus ingens
Pacific Staghorn Sculpin, Leptocottus armatus

Kelp Bass, Paralabrax clathratus
Longjaw Mudsucker, Gillichthys mirabilis
Rainbow Trout/Steelhead, Oncorhynchus mykiss

Rockpool Blenny, Hypsoblennius gilberti

Rock Wrasse, Halichoeres semicinctus
Sailfin Mollie, Poecilla latipinna (introduced)
Sargo, Anisotremis davidsonii
Shiner Perch, Cymatogaster aggregata

Speckled Sanddab, Citharichthys stigmaeus
Specklefin Midshipman, Porichthys myriaster
Spotfin Croaker, Roncador stearnsii

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Spotted Turbot, Pleuronichthys ritteri
Spotted Sand Bass, Paralabrax maculatofasciatus

Topsmelt, Atherinops affinis
Walleye Surfperch, Hyperprosopon argenteum
Wooly Sculpin, Clinocottus analis
Yellowfin Croaker, Umbrina roncador
Yellowfin Goby, Acanthogobius flavimanus (introduced)

Bat Star, Patiria miniataMoon Jellyfish

Hermit Crab, Pagurus samuelis

Kellet's Whelk, Kelletia kellitii

Moon Jellyfish, Medusae aurelia

Spiny Lobster, Panulirus interruptus

Sea Cucumber, Parastichopus californicus

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Reptiles & Amphibians


California Mountain Kingsnake, Lampropeltis zonata
Common Garter Snake, Thamnophis sirtalis
Gopher Snake, Pituophis cantifer
Rosy Boa, Lichanura trivrigata
Western Toad, Bufo boreas

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Plants


Drought Tolerant GardensBladderpod

The plants inside the Nature Center's borders are not all natives. Most are drought-tolerant. Plants have been selected that are generally favorable for landscaping, but require little water. Some are cultivars of natives, selected for special characteristics like frequent blooms, low-growing etc. Others are attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds.

  • Alkali Heath, Frankenia salina
  • Bladderpod, Isomeris arborea
  • Black Sage, Salvia mellifera
  • Boxthorn, Lycium californicum
  • Broom Baccharis, Baccharis sarothroides
  • Buckwheat, Eriogonum fasciculatum
  • Bush Mallow, Malacothamnus fasciculatus
  • Bush Sunflower, Encelia californica
  • California Fuchsia, Zauschneria californica
  • Chalk Live-forever, Dudleya pulverulenta
  • Cleveland Sage, Salvia clevelandii Lemonade Berry
  • Coast Saltbush, Atriplex lentiformis
  • Coastal Sagebrush, Artemisia californica
  • Crimson Sage, Salvia greggi
  • Gumplant, Grindelia robusta
  • Jojoba, Simmondsia chinensis
  • Laurel Sumac, Malosma laurina
  • Lemonadeberry, Rhus integrifolia
  • Matilija Poppy, Romneya trichocalyx
  • Mission Lettuce, Dudleya edulis
  • Mule Fat, Baccharis glutinosa
  • Pickleweed, Salicornia sp
  • Sea Blite, Suaeda californica
  • Sea Dahlia, Coreopsis maritima
  • Toyon, Heteromeles arbutifolia
  • Western Verbena, Verbena lasiostachys
  • White Sage, Salvia apiana
  • Yerba Mansa, Anemopsis californica
  • Yerba Reuma, Frankenia palmeri

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Sweetwater Species


The 316-acre Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge is home to nine rare and endangered species.

Belding's Savannah Sparrow
Burrowing Owl
California Brown Pelican
California Gnatcatcher
California Least Tern
Light-footed Clapper Rail, Rallus longirostris levipes

Western Snowy Plover
Salt Marsh Birds Beak
Yerba Reuma


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