Starr Ranch Sanctuary

Although research is one of the primary activities at Starr Ranch, preservation of some of the last remaining lower elevation habitat mosaics in Orange County has become an increasingly important imperative. These guidelines were established for preservation of Ranch habitats. We will call on an advisory committee to help us with proposals for unusual studies. "Director" below is Sandy DeSimone, the Starr Ranch research and education director.


  1. All Ranch visits must be reported at least one day in advance to the director by phone or e-mail.
  2. We require that, at each visit, researchers sign in and out in the clipboard by the Sanctuary office.

Research Activities

  1. All field protocols to be executed at Starr Ranch must be submitted to the director for approval. Figures of sampling and experimental lay-outs will be appreciated. Any changes must be discussed with the director before execution.
  2. Studies that involve genetic manipulations will be scrutinized on a case-by-case basis.
  3. Non-native seed introductions are not permissible (including bait for animal trapping).
  4. Research sites must be approved, mapped and then marked as designated by the director or other Ranch personnel. Any new sites are subject to approval by the director. After rains every year, fire department crews grade Starr Ranch roads, so that study sites near dirt roads should be clearly marked.
  5. All field workers will have an initial meeting with the director.
  6. To keep human impact on vegetation and wildlife as low as possible, field crews must be kept to a minimum and numbers of field personnel must be reported for each Ranch visit.
  7. Researcher entry into vegetation must be limited to mapped and marked study sites.
  8. At project termination, all nonpermanent markers must be removed from study sites.
  9. Acknowledgment of the National Audubon Society must be included in any publications and copies of any thesis, dissertation, or published paper from research at Starr Ranch must be sent to the director.

Accommodations and Vehicle Use

  1. Overnight stays ($7.50/night; $10/night for room with bath) in several of the Ranch buildings are welcomed. We have no maintenance personnel and, therefore, expect a thorough clean-up upon departure. All recycling and trash must be packed out.
  2. Researchers may use Ranch vehicles as available. Fees are $25.00 per day, $15.00 per half day plus $.25/mile. Reservations are required.

Phone: 949-858-0309 E-mail:

Research Volunteers

We have a group of eagar volunteers who are available for assistance with research at Starr Ranch Sanctuary.  Contact Sandy DeSimone at above phone or e-mail.