Examination of the natural features of an area such as vegetation, topography, surface water, and fauna, provide land managers with information necessary to accomplish long-term strategic planning for use of natural resources. Habitat investigations can also be used to determine if sufficient resources are present to attempt the reintroduction of species previously eliminated from an area. The Institute has conducted studies to determine the appropriateness of bald eagle reintroductions for the Channel Islands, Point Reyes National Seashore, and for the north coast of California. We have also made recommendations for enhancing habitat features to attract wintering and nesting bald eagles to the Lake Tahoe Basin.
Another important component of examining the quality of habitat is determining the occurrence of toxic chemicals in the environment. The Institute has engaged in projects to evaluate the presence of environmental contaminants, such as DDT and Dioxin, to discover if these compounds are having adverse effects on wildlife.