Multiple Species Conservation Program

Definition and Goal

The Multiple Species Conservation Program (MSCP) preserves San Diego's native habitats and wildlife for future generations. It works across political boundaries, providing a unique framework for region-wide conservation efforts – balancing them with streamlined building regulations and permit processes to support healthy community growth.

The MSCP ensures compliance with the Federal Endangered Species Act, State Endangered Species Act, and State Natural Communities Conservation Planning Act.

The goal of the MSCP plan is to acquire or permanently protect 98,379 acres in the unincorporated area of San Diego's South County. Since 1998 the MSCP South County Subarea Plan was approved, thousands of acres of land have been added to the MSCP by local, State and Federal agencies.

The overall effect of the MSCP is that it provides for large, connected preserve areas that address a number of species needs at the habitat level (rather than species-by-species or area-by-area). This creates a more efficient and effective preserve system as well as better protection for the rare, threatened and endangered species in the region.

Major programs are in place to manage, maintain and monitor plant and animal life on the lands once they are in the preserve in order to ensure the conservation of their unique resources. As such, County Parks manages County-owned land within the MSCP. Management activities include but are not limited to trash removal, passive recreation, ranger patrol, signage and fencing, fire management, non-native plant species removal and cultural resource protection. 


There are plans for South County (approved),  North County (in development) and East County (in development). This map outlines the boundaries for each. MSCP Map.

Annual Reports

Monitoring Program

DPR has a robust MSCP monitoring program to ensure that the habitats and species conserved on DPR preserve lands are successfully maintained and enhanced. The MSCP monitoring program on DPR preserve lands includes implementation of the Targeted Monitoring Plan (TMP), baseline inventory surveys, research partnerships, and special-status species monitoring. DPR manages and monitors vegetation communities that provide habitat for special status species as well as MSCP covered species at the species level. MSCP covered species monitoring focuses on species for which population-level monitoring is critical for effective management. The TMP includes focused goals and objectives as well as detailed monitoring protocols for specific plants and animal species and habitat types. The TMP is implemented annually and provides important data to measure success of meeting the MSCP species specific goals and objectives. 

The Targeted Monitoring Plan now includes 20 County Preserves.

  • Targeted Monitoring Plan Resource-Specific Monitoring Annual Reports: 2022, 2021, 2019, 2018.

Public Review Documents

Occasionally, we post documents for public review. Learn more by visiting the Public Review Documents page.

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