How The Nature Conservancy Works in Las Californias
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With a strong network of partners — including landowners, ranchers, wine industry leaders and developers — The Nature Conservancy is working to conserve Las Californias. We are doing this in a variety of ways, such as:
- Creating 600,000 acres of new protected areas
- Establishing a network wildlife corridors
- Working with the wine industry to develop innovative and sustainable vineyard designs
Miles of mountainous coastline, beautiful sandy beaches and ancient redwood forests — few places in the world contain such stunning landscapes and seascapes. Boasting sunny, dry summers and mild, wet winters, Las Californias shares its unique and desirable climate with the Mediterranean Basin, and is one of only five Mediterranean habitat zones on Earth.
Taking up a mere 2.2 percent of the Earth's land area, these five Mediterranean habitats harbor 20 percent of the world's plants species — thousands of which are found nowhere else on Earth. Within Las Californias alone, chaparral, grasslands, oak woodlands and coastal forests support 1,500 plant species found only here.
The region's stunning natural beauty and highly sought-after climate draw people from the world over. Experts predict that by 2020, California's population will have soared to 43 million. This rapid growth threatens the region's remaining natural areas, farms and ranchlands. Approximately 40,000 acres of working farms and ranchlands are lost to development and urbanization every year. In Northern Baja California, coastal wetlands and other delicate habitats face similar threats from an increase in both population and tourism.