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instructor educating students in the field.
Science Education
The Reserve is convenient and accessible to undergraduates. A number of UC Merced professors now hold field trips there.
bobcat eating it's prey
Predation In Action
One of our automatic, motion cameras snapped a photo of a Bobcat carrying off a California Ground Squirrel, reflecting predator-prey relationships.
spotted lizard
Lizard Sighting
On August 6, 2015 we spotted the first common side-blotched lizard recorded on the Grasslands Reserve
Meadow foam & Whitetip Clover
Meadow foam & Whitetip Clover
These lovely wildflowers were in full bloom in early April. Photo by Jenna Heckel.


July 3, 2020

This weekend, we celebrate freedom as a nation, and on the Reserve, birds sing their songs of freedom! The Western meadow lark (Sturnella neglecta) is one species often seen on the Reserve, which can be heard singing joyfully and freely. The bird is a type of passerine (perching) bird that has a flute-like call characteristic of California grasslands. Males commonly sing atop fence posts. It has a distinct yellow breast with a black bib, and conspicuous patches of white on the outer tail...
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COVID-19 and the MVPGR: Update - March 19

The following represents current guidance for the UC Merced Natural Reserve System Merced Vernal Pools and Grassland Reserve (MVPGR). We reserve the right to cancel any reservation to protect the health and safety of visitors and staff, and to revise policies in the event of specific campus, state, NRS, NPS, or CDC guidance.

Updated 3/19/2020

Given the "shelter-in-place" order issued by Governor Newsom, the MVPGR is generally closed to all NRS visitors at the moment.  Visits that support essential research activities (i.e., place-based scholarly activities and programs that cannot reasonably be conducted elsewhere or rescheduled for a later date) need approval from the Vice Provost of Research to continue, in accordance with the campus research continuity plans.


In case of emergency, call 911 or the campus police at (209) 228-2677

For non-emergencies such as gate lock issues:

Call local contact and Faculty Director, Jessica Blois, at (209) 228-2256

OR Campus Facilities Management at 209-228-2986