Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Despite its common name, this plant is not a thistle but a member of the parsley family. Because it exists at only a single site, the floor of a vernal (temporary springtime) lake, the species is vulnerable to disasters, such as fire and drought, and outbreaks of pests and disease. It is also threatened by off-road vehicle use of the lake bottom during dry seasons and development of the watershed that feeds the lake.
The California Department of Fish and Game bought the lake bottom habitat of the Loch Lomond coyote-thistle in 1988 and fenced it in 1989, thus protecting it from illegal dredging and off-road vehicle use. Vandalism to the fence was repaired in 1989 and 1992. An area of the lake damaged earlier was recontoured and seeded in 1985, and now has a plant density comparable to that in the rest of the lake bottom. The Fish and Wildlife Service is currently considering reclassifying this species from endangered to threatened.
The single site will need continued monitoring to prevent and/or repair damage to the surrounding fence. Additionally, development proposals in the watershed should be reviewed and recommendations made for preventing an increase in the flow of sediment and chemicals into the lake. The California Department of Fish and Game wants to expand the preserve to include the lake's watershed. Population size and health should also be monitored. Investigations into the population biology of the species is needed to allow planning for potential problems.
California Department of Fish and Game: This State agency, which owns the lake habitat of the Loch Lomond coyote-thistle, continues to monitor the status of the fence and make necessary repairs.
No plan will be prepared. The only known population occurs on land owned and managed by the California Department of Fish and Game.