- Author: Trina Wood
Golden eagles in the western United States may be at risk of infestation by an exotic and possibly new species of mite that causes a fatal skin disease, according to an Emerging Infectious Diseases case report published in October 2014.
Two adult golden eagles that were recovered in California between July and August 2013 were infested by a mite with morphologic features similar to those of Micnemidocoptes derooi, a species of mite seen only once, in an African palm swift in West Africa more than 40 years ago.
Both eagles had substantial feather loss and scabbing on the head, neck, and legs and...
- Author: Cheryl Reynolds
Pesticide resistance is not a new subject, and researchers have been working for years on how to manage the problem. Resistance develops when the same type of pesticide is used repeatedly and frequently to control a pest. Every pest population contains individuals that vary genetically in some way; some vary in their susceptibility to being killed by a particular pesticide.
When a pesticide is applied, some individual insects or weeds are killed and others are not. The individuals that are not killed vary genetically from the ones that were killed, and when they reproduce, their offspring are also likely not to be susceptible to the pesticide. Over time, the population...
- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
2014 was California's hottest year ever, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the state is beginning a fourth year of drought.
“Even recent large storms, while welcome, have not made much of a dent in the state's water deficit after several hot, dry years. This drought, ongoing for three years and counting, presents several complex, important issues,” writes Faith Kearns, Ph.D., a water analyst for the
- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
Omnipresent and homely, turkey vultures are a native California wildlife species that doesn't get a lot of research attention.
But UC Cooperative Extension advisor Greg Giusti has found a surprising level of interest from the public in his Northern California research project about turkey vultures' nesting preferences in oak woodland.
“Animals with cute fuzzy faces are far more attractive in our culture,” said Giusti, a wildland ecology expert. “Turkey vultures have been overlooked. Very little is known about their biology and environmental needs.”
Giusti worked with Robert Keiffer, superintendent...
- Author: Brook Gamble
"There are no passengers on spaceship earth. We are all crew" - Marshall McLuhan.
To understand and protect California's unique natural resources, we need all the information we can gather across many different disciplines. Citizen science is one crowd-sourced approach to gathering that information.
One of the first institutions to formally use the citizen science approach, Cornell Ornithology Lab, defines citizen science as projects in which volunteers partner with scientists to answer real-world questions. Another term to describe these projects, often used interchangeably, is “public participation in scientific research” (PPSR), which...