Moss Landing Wildlife Area Updated:03/2024

Moss Landing Wildlife Area is an 872-acre property that is part of the largest unaltered salt marsh along the California coast. The tidal marsh is dominated almost exclusively by perennial pickleweed. The concentrated salts in the soil, residual from decades of brine concentration, are simply too saline for all but the most specialized salt-tolerant plant species to become established.

Elkhorn Slough is an essential 'pit-stop' for migratory shorebirds. Mammals such as harbor seal and sea otter also occur in the area. Many of the over 300 species of birds recorded in the watershed of Elkhorn Slough also occur within the Moss Landing Wildlife Area, most notably the Federally threatened Western Snowy plover. These plovers nest and feed in the Wildlife Area's former salt ponds.

Today approximately 150 acres of the wildlife area is managed to provide habitat to Western Snowy plover in spring and summer and flooded up in the fall and winter to provide wintering waterfowl habitat. The remaining 722 acres are managed under a muted tidal regime due to continuously eroding levees and are a mosaic of pickleweed habitats and some eelgrass beds. This tidal portion is open to waterfowl hunting during the season.

For more information, call the Marine Region Monterey office at (831) 649-2870 or the Central Region Fresno office at (559) 243-4005 ext. 151.

Contact Moss Landing Wildlife Area

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Contact Moss Landing Wildlife Area

Dr. Jeffrey R. Single
Regional Manager
1234 E. Shaw Avenue
Fresno, CA  93710
Phone: (831) 649-2870
Fax: (559) 243-4022

Service Area

Services provided in:
  • Monterey County, California