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Antioch Dunes Plants and Pollinators

Antioch Dunes Plants and Pollinators

The Antioch Dunes are located along the shoreline of the San Joaquin River in Contra Costa County, California. Surrounded by industrial debris and decimated by sand mining, the dunes are now a fragment of their original size. Created by wind-blown sand deposited during several ice ages, most of the sand was removed during the boom years in California for building the city of San Francisco and other municipal projects. Due to public pressure and congressional intervention, the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge became a reality and is now administered by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Antioch Dunes Evening Primrose (illustrated with its pollinators, the Sphinx moth and bumblebee) and the Contra Costa Wallflower bear the Federal Status: Endangered. The Naked Stem Buckweat which also grows on the dunes is the only habitat and sole host plant for the endangered Lange's Metalmark butterfly.

At this time, the Contra Costa Wallflower and the Antioch Dunes Evening Primrose have been successfully propagated at the Regional Parks Botanic Garden in Berkeley, California and are both members of the Center for Plant Conservation's National Collection.

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