Biological Consulting

We apply objective natural resource expertise to complex environmental issues for private and public sector clients who must comply with federal, state and local environmental regulations.

We focus on Habitat Assessments and General Biological Resource Assessments, including site history (chain of title and historical land use). Birds and plants are specialties.

We also compile raw data and reports from other consultants and agencies to produce Initial Studies, Environmental Assessments and Environmental Impact Reports to meet state CEQA requirements. We can also assist with the creation of Environmental Impact Assessments and Environmental Impact Statements to meet Federal NEPA requirements. We can also independently review the work of others.

Beyond legal compliance with CEQA, key benefits to having a written record of your area’s natural and cultural history are:

  • A list of all flora and fauna seen, or reasonably expected, is created.
  • Rare or threatened/endangered flora and fauna is located and mapped.
  • Vegetation types and critical habitat for rare or threatened/endangered flora and fauna is identified and mapped.
  • History of the site and current and historical land use is described.
  • Baseline data is gathered which creates better conservation management and planning.

Santa Cruz Dec 5-7 2014 Island Fox

Santa Cruz Island fox (Urocyon littoralis santacruzae).  Dec. 6, 2014, MMc.

Recent Training

California Native Plant Society Workshop April 24-26, 2019: Measuring and Monitoring Plant Populations.

LA County Agricultural Commissioner Private Applicator training Nov. 6, 2018 and Continuing Education Seminar Dec. 6, 2018.

California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) training by the California Association of Environmental Professionals. Full day workshop on Nov. 1, 2018.

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) training by the California Association of Environmental Professionals. Full day workshop on Sept. 20, 2018.

Experience & Conference Talks & Publications

Berkunsky, I., P. Quillfeldt, D. J. Brightsmith, [et al, including McReynolds M. S.]. 2017. Current threats faced by Neotropical parrot populations. Biological Conservation 214:278-287.

Southern California Field Biology Research. 2010-2017, Biola University.

  • Directed undergraduate student research on the Channel Islands (Santa Catalina, Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz), Joshua Tree National Park and the San Gabriel Mountains, as a part of a Field Biology course (3x). See paper titles below.

Lead, La Mirada Creek Native Plant Restoration Project. 2014-2017, Biola University

  • Vegetation restoration of a small section of La Mirada Creek at Biola University. Invasive removal and native transplants occurred.
  • McReynolds M, Stinchcomb N, Phaneuf R, Naritoku J, Chavez G. 2016. The La Mirada Creek Restoration Project at Biola University. La Mirada, California.. p. 1-26.

Curator, Biola University Herbarium. 2010-2017, Biola University.

  • Directed a student team to organize, update/improve ID and labels, and database a plant collection abandoned for decades. It now has 2,350+ specimens representing 159 plant families, 510 genera, and 974 unique species and subspecies.  Additions came from Botany class every Spring, for seven years, with collections concentrated in the Angeles National Forest via USFS permit the last years.

Scarlet Macaw Research on Isla Coiba, Panama

  • McReynolds, M., J. Elizondo, K. McReynolds, and A. Chong. 2016. Scarlet Macaws (Ara macao) on Isla Coiba: a Conservation Assessment. Pages 1-31. Biola University and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.
  • McReynolds MS, J. Elizondo, K. McReynolds, A. Chong. 2016. Scarlet Macaws (Ara macao) on Isla Coiba: A Conservation Assessment. XII Simposio Mesoamericano de Conservación de Psittaciformes, Sociedad Mesoamericana para la Biología y la Conservación. Belize City, Belize.

Invited Expert, USFWS

  • Extensive expert “comment” solicited by the USFWS to determine whether to list the Scarlet Macaw under the ESA. McReynolds cited 19 times.US Fish and Wildlife Service. (2012). Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing the Scarlet Macaw (50 CFR Part 17 [Docket No. FWS–R9–ES–2012–0039; 4500030115]). Washington D.C.: Federal Register. p 40222-40247.
  • McReynolds, M. S. 2016. Reply To: Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing the Scarlet Macaw; Proposed Rule 50 CFR Part 17 [Docket No. Fws–R9–Es–2012–0039; 4500030115]. p. 1-11.

Ph.D. Research, Belize

  • McReynolds MS. 2012. Patterns of Seasonal Variation in Diet, Abundance, and Movement of the Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) in southern Belize. Pages 1-186. Environmental Studies. Antioch University New England, Keene, NH, USA.(Dr. Jon Atwood Advisor).
  • McReynolds, M. 2009. Food tracking and altitudinal migration by Scarlet Macaws (Ara macao) in southern Belize. Quinto Simposio Mesoamericano de Psittaciformes de la XIII Congreso de la Sociedad Mesoamericana para la Biología y la Conservación. Belize City, Belize. Mesoamericana 13:2 pg. 192.
  • McReynolds M. 2005. The Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao cyanoptera) in Belize: a summary of research. Primer Simposio Mesoamericano de Psittaciformes: IX Congreso de la Sociedad Mesoamericano para la Biología y la Conservación, La Ceiba, Honduras. Abstract in Mesoamericana 9:4, pg. 192. Short article in Mesoamericana 10:4, pg. 6-10.
  • Chassot O, McReynolds MS, Arias GM, Brightsmith DJ, Lopez ML. 2005. Lista preliminar de referencias bibliograficas sobre Psittacidos de Mesoamerica. Primer Simposio Mesoamericano de Psittaciformes: IX Congreso de la Sociedad Mesoamericano para la Biología y la Conservación La Ceiba, Honduras. Mesoamericana 10:2, pg. 105-123.

William Jessup University Preserve 2007 – 2009 Rocklin, CA.

  • Lead, Biological Assessment and Preserve Management

Researched historical land use and chain of title, created bird and plant lists, delineated wetlands and identified pond and wildlife habitat management issues. Wrote the William Jessup University Preserve Proposal.

Lead, Biological Assessment and Management of Hidden Lakes Retreat Summers of 1997, 98 and 99 Yuba Gap, Placer County, CA

  • Led a three-person biological assessment team to document the natural history of this 6,400 ft. western Sierra Nevada site and suggest appropriate management actions. Lead or sole author of many of the reports when not co-author.

Edminster R, McReynolds M, McReynolds K. 2009. A Flora of Hidden Lakes Retreat, Cisco Quad, Placer County. Pages 1-138. Target Earth International, Hayward, CA.

McReynolds K, McReynolds M, 2009. Mammal Survey of Hidden Lakes Retreat, Cisco Quad, Placer County. Pages 1-13. Target Earth International, Hayward, CA.

McReynolds K, McReynolds M, Edminster R. 2009. Forestry Resources of Hidden Lakes Retreat, Cisco Quad, Placer County. Pages 1-12. Target Earth International, Hayward, CA.

McReynolds K, McReynolds M, Gallaher B. 2009. History and Land Use of Hidden Lakes Retreat, Cisco Quad, Placer County. Pages 1-62. Target Earth International, Hayward, CA.

McReynolds M, McReynolds K, Moen D. 2009. A Checklist and Field Guide for the Birds of Hidden Lakes Retreat, Cisco Quad, Placer County. Pages 1-30. Target Earth International, Hayward, CA.

McReynolds M, McReynolds K. 2009. Aquatic Resources of Hidden Lakes Retreat, Cisco Quad, Placer County. Pages 1-64. Target Earth International, Hayward, CA.

McReynolds M, McReynolds K, Edminster R. 2009. Conservation Management Recommendations for Hidden Lakes Retreat, Cisco Quad, Placer County. Pages 1-30. Target Earth International, Hayward, CA.

McReynolds M. 2009. Fish of Hidden Lakes Retreat, Cisco Quad, Placer County. Pages 1-7. Target Earth International, Hayward, CA.

McReynolds M. 2009. Fungi of Hidden Lakes Retreat, Cisco Quad, Placer County. Pages 1-8. Target Earth International, Hayward, CA.

McReynolds M. 2009. Geology of Hidden Lakes Retreat, Cisco Quad, Placer County. Pages 1-41. Target Earth International, Hayward, CA.

McReynolds M. 2009. Invertebrates of Hidden Lakes Retreat, Cisco Quad, Placer County. Pages 1-51. Target Earth International, Hayward, CA.

Student Research

These papers came out of Field Biology, Ornithology and Ecology classes. I heavily supervised the construction of each of the research projects and their final reports.

Orange County

Use of Uplands by Great Blue Herons (Ardea herodias) at the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve.

The Impact of Recreation on Waterfowl Species Richness Within a Managed Area.

Bird Densities in Distinct Habitats: Aliso Viejo Wilderness Park, Crystal Cove State Park, and O’Neill Regional Park.

A Bird Survey in California Sage Scrub at West Coyote Hills, Orange County, California.

The Effect High and Low Tides have on the Frequency of Gulls in Human populated and Non-populated Area of El Matador State Beach.

Southern California Urban Stream Water Depths and Fish Density, La Mirada Creek.

The Effect of Human Presence on Pelican Population: Crystal Cove State Beach and Long Beach

The Effects of Mussel Beds on Sea Anemone Location at Leo Carrillo State Park.

Tourism Impacts on the Nitrogen Cycle of Newport Beach Tide Pools.

The Impact of pH, N and K levels on Zooplankton and Diatom Populations in an Urban Creek in Southern California.

Biodiversity of Aquatic invertebrates in an Urban Creek in Southern California.

San Gabriel Mountains

A Comparative Vegetation Survey of North-facing and South-facing Slopes near Mt. Baldy.

The Impact of Altitude on Riparian Tree Species Distribution in San Antonio Canyon.

Variation in Densities of Alpine Buckwheats, (Eriogonum sp.) on North and South-facing Slopes in the Baldy Notch area of the San Gabriel Mountains, California.

Tree Growth and Microclimates in the Mt. Baldy Area.

Abundance of Foothill Yucca (Hesperoyucca whipplei) on North and South Slope Aspects in the San Gabriel Foothills.

Effect of Slope Aspect on Presence and Abundance of Evergreen Plant Species in San Antonio Canyon.

Santa Catalina Island

A Survey of Large Arthropods in Four Microhabitats on Santa Catalina Island.

Scat Examination of the Santa Catalina Island Fox (Urocyon littoralis catilinae).

Nearshore Benthic Sampling of Marine Invertebrates, Santa Catalina Island.

Nearshore Variations in Kelp Height vs. Water Temperature, Santa Catalina Island.

Santa Rosa Island

Land bird richness and evenness at different elevations inland from Bechers Bay, Santa Rosa Island.

Concentrations of Giant Kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) Influenced by Ocean Currents and Wind in Bechers Bay, Santa Rosa Island.

Size trends of Starburst Anenome (Anthopleura sola) in different tidal zones in Bechers Bay, Santa Rosa Island.

Abiotic Factors Impacting the Rocky Intertidal Species: Black Turban Snail (Tegula funebralis) in Bechers Bay, Santa Rosa Island.

Joshua Tree National Park

Proximity of Introduced and Native Avian Species in Comparison to Human Populations in Joshua Tree National Park.

A Sampling of Lichens in Joshua Tree National Park.

Comparison of Avian Abundance between Mojave and Sonoran Deserts in Joshua Tree National Park

Population Density of Creosote (Larrea tridentata) at Varying Elevations in in Joshua Tree National Park.

Population Densities of Cacti in High and Low Elevation Transects of Joshua Tree National Park.

Population Density of Yucca (Yucca spp.) is Impacted by Elevation in Joshua Tree National Park.

Observation and Classification of Mormon Tea (Ephedra spp.) in Joshua Tree National Park

Survey of the Composition of the Avian Community at Joshua Tree National Park.

Density of Mohave Yucca (Yucca schidigera) in High and Low Elevations in Joshua Tree National Park.