Mugu Lagoon

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Mugu Lagoon

MUGU LAGOONBrittany Campana and Megan GutierrezMarine Biology, Period 6 March 25, 2014

California Least Tern(Sterna antillarum browni)California Least Terns breed primarily in bays of the Pacific Ocean within a very limited range of Southern California, in San Francisco Bay and in an extreme northern Mexico. This migratory bird is a U.S. federally listed endangered species. While numbers have gradually increased with its protected status, this species is still vulnerable to natural disasters or further disturbance by man. The California Least Tern hunts primarily in shallow estuaries and lagoons, where smaller fishes are abundant. They hover until spotting prey, and then plunge into the water without full submersion to extract prey.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION:Mugu Lagoon is a lush estuary located 8 miles southeast of the city of Oxnard. It is located in the Southern Ventura County. Mugu Lagoon is where the Calleguas Creek meets the Pacific Ocean. Being located within a Naval Air Weapons Station, the lagoon is protected by the officials' stationed at the naval base. However, the lagoon is also protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, which prohibits, with certain exceptions, the ''take'' of marine mammals in U.S. waters and by U.S. citizens on the high seas, and the importation of marine mammals and marine mammal products into the U.S. Mugu Lagoon houses any species, ranging from various plant life, marine, and terrestial wildlife. The lagoon is referred to as being very ''active'' due to its location on a vigorously moving continental plate. The lagoon has not only been serving purpose for marine and terrestial life around its location, but has also been providing a sanctuary and protection for the Navy officials stationed at the base. Mugu Lagoon is a place where biodiversity is very apparent and is a beautiful sanctuary to many animals.

Salt Marsh Bird's Beak(Cordylanthus maritimus)It is native to the Southwestern United States and northern Baja California. This is a halophyte which grows in areas of high salt concentrations, including coastal salt marshes and the inland salt flats of the Great Basin. It is hemiparasitic, such that it is greenish and has chlorophyll but also parasitizes other plants by inserting haustoria into their roots to tap nurtrients. This plant grows in low clumps and has small, thick, gray-green hairy leaves often tinted with purple. It concentrates and excretes salts, giving its foliage a grainy crust.

Mosquitofish(Gambusia affinis)The western mosquitofish is a species of freshwater fish. The name ''mosquitofish'' was given because the diet of this fish sometimes consists of large amounts of mosquito larvae, relative to body size. Mosquitofish are small, dull grey, with a large abdomen, and have rounded dorsal and caudal fins and an upturned mouth towards the surface. The native range of the mosquitofish is from southern parts of Illinois and Indiana, throughout the Mississippi River and its tributary waters, to as far south as the Gulf Coast in the northeastern parts of Mexico.

Eelgrass(Zostera marina)It is an aquatic plant native to marine environments on the coastlines of mostly northern sections of North America and Eurasia. It is the most wide-ranging marine flowering plant in the Northern Hemisphere. It dies off during warmer seasons. It occurs in calmer waters in the sublittoral zone where it is rarely exposed to air. It anchors via rhizome in sandy or muddy substrates and its leaves catch particulate debris in the water which then collects around the bases of the plants, building up the top layer of the seabed.

Sea Lettuce(Ulva Lactuca)It is a group of edible green algae that is widely distrubuted along the coasts of the world's oceans. Sea lettuce is a commonly found species of algae in the saltwater aquarium trade, where it is valued for its high nutrient uptake and edibility. Many species of sea lettuce are eaten by a number of different sea animals and are a food source for humans in some countries.

California Hornsnail (Cerithideopsis Californica)Is from central Californis, USA to Baja Califronia Sur, Mexico and lives in salt-marsh dominated estuaries. Throughout its range in California, these snails grow and reproduce from spring through fall (March-October) and cease growth and reproduction during the winter (November-February). Maximum longevity for these snails is at least 6-10 years, and this appears to be the case for uninfected as well as infected snails.

REFERENCES:''Mugu Lagoon.'' CWIS. California Resources Agency, 2 Dec. 1997. Web. 25 Mar. 2014. .''San Nicolas Island, Mugu Lagoon Home to Rare Species.'' : Ventura County Star. Scripps Newspaper Group, 4 Aug. 2010. Web. 25 Mar. 2014. .''Mugu Rock Overlook.'' Ventura CA Visitor Information. Ventura Visitors and Convention Bureau, 2013. Web. 25 Mar. 2014. .


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