The Conservation Partnership works to restore, improve, and create stock ponds that provide multiple benefits to wildlife and cattle. Wildlife-friendly stock ponds encourage:
- Habitat for species that have been affected by land use change and development
- Improved distribution of livestock on an ecosystem
- Resiliency to drought
Many of the livestock ponds in the East Bay were built 30-60 years ago and are now reaching the end of their lifespans. In addition to providing a reliable water source for cattle, they also provide habitat for native species, including the California red-legged frog and California tiger salamander. Stockponds have become a vital feature on the landscape, as natural aquatic habitats have been converted or altered due to habitat conversion or degradation; it is important that this supplemental habitat is not lost. Severe drought conditions can magnify the importance of these ponds as a much-needed water source for livestock and other wildlife, including dragonflies, bobcats and deer.
Grazing has been documented to benefit the flora and fauna on rangelands. Other practices can be used to improve grazing operation management, including water development projects (e.g., spring development, tank-trough systems) and prescribed grazing. These practices often compliment pond restoration activities and increase overall landscape and operational resilience.
If you are interested in learning more about our Wildlife-Friendly Pond Program or other practices that support grazing management, please contact us.