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South Bay Flora and Fauna

In this section you can make a choice of several sub-sections.  These sub-sections will show the Flora (plants) or Fauna (wildlife) of several places within the South Bay Area.

Madrona Marsh
(Torrance, CA)

The Madrona Marsh Preserve, in the city of Torrance in the South Bay region of Southern California, is a seasonal wetland with vernal pools. The 43 acres preserve is a former site of oil wells and is one of the few natural areas remaining within an urban landscape.

Formed eons ago when the mountains of the Palos Verdes Peninsula rose to the south, Madrona Marsh is a shallow depression fed by wet season (spring) storms as the name "vernal" indicates. After the rainy season, evaporationpercolation and transpiration reduce the water depth by about one-quarter of an inch per day. By the end of August, the wetland is dry and remains so until the following rainy season.


Situated on land that was set aside for oil production in 1924, Madrona Marsh was never developed while the city grew up around the site and remains a valuable natural habitat for birds, reptiles, insects and small mammals.

Ongoing efforts are restoring native plants including wildflowers. Plantings may benefit local butterfly species including the Palos Verdes blue. The area has long been popular with bird watchers and The Audubon Societyhas used Madrona Marsh for their annual bird census since 1967. El Camino College uses it as an outdoor biology and botany lab.

Alondra Community Regional Park

Alondra Community Regional Park is the largest park closest to the ocean and the beach cities of Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, and Redondo Beach. The 53-acre park is designed with a wooded rural landscape and prairie setting amidst a beautiful urban lake. The proximity of Alondra Park to the ocean and an urban river, together with its lake, meadow lawns, and woodlands, contributes to the park functioning as a naturally landscaped habitat and environment for migratory wetland and upland birds. Alondra Park serves approximately 237,000 people in the cities of Lawndale, Torrance, Gardena, Hawthorne, and unincorporated El Camino Village. The island in the lake has a California native plant garden that is also an attractant for native butterflies and wild birds that migrate from Santa Catalina Island and the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

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