HMP red tail hawk
Great Horned Owl
6 American Avocet
5  Greater  Roadrunner

The Habitat Management Division is dedicated to protecting native plants, animals and habitats through the city’s Habitat Management Plan (HMP). The Habitat Management Plan was developed by the city, in cooperation with federal and state wildlife agencies and biological experts, to preserve and protect sensitive biological resources within the city while allowing for continued growth and development. The City of Carlsbad is the only city in North County with an approved Habitat Management Plan, which is a holistic, ecosystem-based approach to preserving habitat for plant and animal species. Our citywide preserve system, currently about 6,200 acres, connects to a network of preserves outside of the city, allowing species to move freely.

To learn more about the Habitat Management Division and the Habitat Management Plan, watch the 2023 Earth Week Lunch & Learn webinar.

Is Habitat Management Plan land part of the city’s open space?

Yes. Some open space is available for public use, like parks and trails. Open space that is home to sensitive plants and animals may not be open to the public. In some cases there are trails alongside these areas. In other cases, this open space can only be enjoyed as a scenic view, providing a respite from our built environment.

What is the purpose of the Habitat Management Plan?

The purpose of the plan is to guide the design, management, monitoring, and public use of the natural open space preserve system within the City of Carlsbad. The Habitat Management plan (HMP) is part of a regional planning effort to create an interconnected system of open space lands that will function at the ecosystem level. The HMP constitutes the city’s subarea (city-specific) plan within the Multiple Habitat Conservation Program Subregional Plan for north coastal San Diego County.

What are some advantages of the Habitat Management Plan?

The Habitat Management Plan protects rare and endangered plant and animal species and their habitats.

The planning process protects natural vegetation communities and sensitive species at an ecosystem scale rather than on a project-by-project basis. Project-by-project planning often results in the conservation of smaller parcels of disconnected habitat, while ecosystem planning results in the preservation of larger blocks of habitat that are connected by wildlife movement corridors and habitat linkages.

The HMP ensures the permanent management and monitoring of preserve lands.