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The 605 acre Fort Ord Natural Reserve (FONR) is located adjacent to the UC MBEST Center and is administered by UCSC under the Natural Reserve System (NRS) of the University of California. The site is used primarily for teaching and research in areas such as field ecology, the population biology of rare species, and natural resource and reserve management.

Incorporated into the UC Natural Reserve System in June of 1996, FONR operates under the terms of the Fort Ord Habitat Management Plan (HMP) developed to protect unique natural resources after base closure. FONR protects 11 species of federal and state listed plants (including the endangered Gilia tenuiflora arenaria), and 7 species of listed animals (including the endangered Smith's blue butterfly and the California legless lizard).

Located in Monterey County FONR contains relatively intact pieces of the unique and endemic Monterey Bay maritime chaparral, significant stands of coast live oak, and large areas of California native grasses. Public use is limited but teaching and research can be arranged via FONR or the UCSC Natural Reserve office.

Coast Live Oaks

California Legless Lizard

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