You may not know it, but Orange County is full of what is called chaparral habitats. Often found on mountain slopes and coastal foothills, chaparral is California’s most extensive plant community. With a variety of different species, this habitat can be found up and down the California coast, from Baja to Southern Oregon.
Chaparral habitats usually contain drought-tolerant, woody shrubs that thrive in hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. Most chaparral plants have large, hard leaves that can hold moisture. During the springtime, you’ll see Orange County hillsides full of airy, light green chaparral plants that turn brown in the summer and fall. Common chaparral plant species include scrub oak, chaparral yucca, golden yarrow, and so many more! There are also a variety of animals that make chaparral habitats their home including mule deer, quail, coyotes, rabbits, lizards, and others.
Since chaparral habitats make up a large portion of the Landmarks, Irvine Ranch Conservancy works year-round to restore these natural areas. From planting native shrubs to removing invasive weeds, the Conservancy works alongside public landowners OC Parks, the City of Irvine and the City of Newport Beach to protect this important environment. To learn more about Irvine Ranch Conservancy, visit IRConservancy.org.