An interesting audio discussion about the increase in hobbyist drone use, how drone users may be inadvertently stressing out wildlife, and how drone enthusiasts can avoid wildlife harassment. The interview starts at 4:05.
What do you think about the proposition of reintroducing grizzlies to California, Naturalists? Here's a well-researched article on the subject in Pacific Standard. "One of the reasons you have predators coming back to Europe—wolves, bears, lynx, and wolverines—is partly because Europe has become more urbanized, and parts of the countryside are emptying out. You also have a change in thinking and attitudes. People are imagining different futures, which is also vitally important" says Dr. Peter Alagona, UC Santa Barbara Professor, author of the book "After the Grizzly: Endangered Species and the Politics of Place in California," and member of the interdisciplinary California Grizzly Study Group.
We wish our partners and naturalists at Tuleyome the best! CAL FIRE crews have made significant progress containing the County Fire, which has burned more than 90,000 acres, including ~10,500 acres of BLM-managed public land, primarily within the Berryessa Snow Mountain Friends of the BSM National Monument. Tuleyome is a Woodland-based conservation organization who, in 2015, along with coalition partners, were successful in permanently protecting the Berryessa Snow Mountain region as a National Monument. They have been heavily impacted by wildfire for several years in a row. Join Tuleyome on June 28 for their "Nature and You" lecture series to learn about the recent wildfires and their effects on the environment.
The Sierra Nevada region covers only a quarter of the state's land area yet provides 60% of California's fresh water. Carried across the state, this water serves 23 million people in communities in the mountains, valleys, and as far as coastal cities of San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego.
As climate change continues to warm the atmosphere, what will become of the frozen reservoir we depend on? To investigate,UCLA's Center for Climate Science created high-resolution projections of future climate in the Sierra. The article highlights critical findings and contains a link to the full report.
Enjoy nocturnal wildlife? So many interesting animals are active at night, making it hard to see much more than their scat or prints left behind! Historically used for wildlife research management and behavioral research, trail cameras offer a fun, relatively passive way to find out what wildlife inhabits your yard. Issues with first generation cameras (loud noises and flash) are addressed by most cameras now, to minimize disturbance and behavior changes. They have decreased substantially in price (starting at about $60) in recent years and are increasingly loaded with optional features like video/stills, longer detection range, waterproof casing, cellular or WiFi capability, time lapse, internal viewers and more. Many comparative reviews of features exist online and there is a growing trail cam community on iNaturalist.org that shares observations. Be sure to choose a no-glow or low-glow infrared camera (vs incandescent) for the least amount of disturbance to wildlife.
Check out Urban Ark, an interesting environmental stories series on KCET in collaboration with UCLA Laboratory for Environmental Narrative Strategies. "A documentary exploring intriguing questions about human-created urban ecosystems, biodiversity and opportunities for creating sanctuaries for endangered species, including the origin and relocation of the beloved red-crowned parrot in Pasadena."
According to the US National Weather Service, we are facing "extremely critical Red Flag fire weather conditions today into Saturday across portions of SW California." Want to dive deeper into understanding the weather and record-breaking forecasts? Check out the Weather West blog, written by UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability scientist Dr. Daniel Swain. http://weatherwest.com/archives/6364
How do you excite people about the sea? A UC San Diego music professor, Lei Liang, and his students created musical concerts using underwater visual imagery and sounds of shrimp, fish and coral animals. The group hopes to inspire ocean conservation among its audiences. Sounds and visuals were collected by Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Read about it here.
Happy Fourth of July to our aspiring and certified naturalists! As a statewide program of UC Agriculture & Natural Resources, #CalNat is proud to bring the research of the University of California to the people of our great state. Go outside and continue spreading the knowledge today! Check out a video about the UC ANR legacy here.
Fun facts from The California Naturalist Handbook: Hundreds of tiny alpine lakes are nestled in mountain cirques across the high Sierra Nevada, Cascade, and Southern California mountains. Cirques (pronounced “serks”) are bowl-shaped depressions carved by glaciers. Alpine lakes are blue because theyoligotrophic, having a marked deficiency of nutrients or other materials needed to sustain life.
The Save the Redwoods League just purchased the largest remaining old-growth redwood forest in private ownership from the Oregon border to Big Sur! Located near Cazadero in Sonoma County, the forest features the McApin Tree, a 1,640 year old (!), 19 ft diameter redwood. Congrats to our friends at the Save the Redwoods League and thank you to the Richardson Family. Just 5 percent of the original coast redwood range remains. Since their founding in 1918, Save the Redwoods League has protected more than 200,000 acres of redwood forests and helped create 66 redwood parks and reserves. Read about it here.
Mountain yellow-legged frogs (Rana muscosa) were once found in abundance in the streams of the San Gabriel, San Bernardino and San Jacinto mountains in Southern California. Over the past few decades, their numbers decreased significantly due to various reasons from fungal infections to nonnative predators. Only a few hundred were thought to exist today. Now, hundred of tadpoles raised at the LA Zoo are being reintroduced and released into the San Gabriels thanks to a collaborative effort between zoos and agencies. Read about it here.
Congratulations to the newly certified naturalists from Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History! Students were immersed in the natural history of the Monterey Peninsula through a combination of guest presenters from California State University, Monterey Bay, Monterey Peninsula Water Management District, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, and the museum staff. They put their knowledge into practice during field trips to view the unique plants at former military site Fort Ord National Monument, explore the tidal marshes of Elkhorn Slough, tour Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, and practice the scientific protocols of LiMPETS Monitoring at the tide pools. No small feat for these #CalNat grads. Welcome!
Join Santa Barbara Botanic Garden's California Naturalist Open House event on Wednesday, July 18, from 5:30-7:00p as they showcase their California Naturalist course. Enjoy refreshments with some of the local expert instructors and course graduates. Explore the broad overview of regional and California natural history the course provides to long-time residents, newcomers, and participants at all levels of expertise. Register for the free event!
The inaugural Audubon Canyon Ranch Martin Griffin Preserve autumn/winter CalNat course in Stinson Beach is accepting application for registration! ACR has been offering a highly regarded docent training for decades- and just last year they started offering the CalNat certification as an enhancement. The training is hosted by ACR's 1,000 acre Martin Griffin Preserve, home to more than twenty-five species of mammals, over ninety species of landbirds, thirteen species of reptile, and eight species of amphibian. Mixed evergreen forests blanket slopes overlooking the Bolinas Lagoon. Open hillsides support grasslands and coastal scrub, while freshwater habitats nestle in canyon floors. Wednesdays, 9:30 a.m.– 2:00 p.m. September 5, 2018 through March 6, 2019 (holiday exceptions). Trainees also observe experienced docents on the trails and in the classroom. http://calnat.ucanr.edu/Take_a_class/ARC/
The search for urban wildlife in So. L.A. continues as the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County partners with community scientists to survey in September 2018! "The data collected the first year was eye-opening. We not only documented bats in every backyard but in most backyards we detected bats that are California Species of Special Concern (identified as vulnerable, but not yet classified as Threatened or Endangered). These bats are uncommon to the area, and we had previously thought that they were too urban sensitive to use urban neighborhoods or possibly required habitat that didn't exist in the L.A. area." If you want to be immersed in urban wildlife discovery and you live south of the 10 Freeway, between I-405/Hawthorne Blvd. and the 710 to the beach, contact the museum.
Dr. Walt Koenig (author of the annual (since 1980!) California Acorn Report) and California Naturalist Kate Marianchild (author of the book Secrets of the Oak Woodlands) share fun acorn woodpecker facts in this KQED Science article./span>
Scientists with the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Centerreleased their report on Lake Tahoe's average water clarity for 2017. Their finding of an average of 59.7 feet depth of clarity is the lowest since they began taking measurements in the 1960s. TERC's scientists think the recent historic drought and the following record-breaking rain and snow caused the downturn in clarity, with the warming of the Lake's water playing a role.
Climate scientists expect extreme weather fluctuations like these to become more common. And in the past four years, Lake Tahoe's water has been warming at 10 times its historic trend. While Lake Tahoe has shown it has the ability to be resilient to threats, global warming puts unprecedented pressures on the Lake's fragile ecology.
Time is running out to register for the new Sagehen Creek Field Station course! You won't want to miss a week of incredible experts in the fields of geology, hydrology, botany, and more in this unbeatable location. Nestled in the Sierra just outside of Truckee, students in this week-long course will have room and board covered while exploring the stunning features of the field station and surrounding North Shore of Lake Tahoe. Register by June 30, course dates are July 15-21!
New UC Berkeley research on 62 species across six continents looked for global shifts in the timing of daily activity of mammals in response to humans. On average, mammals were 1.36 times more nocturnal in response to human disturbance.
Urban sprawl in Southern California is reflecting more of the sun's heat, dissipating the clouds that shade coastal Southern California in the summer, according to a new study by UC Santa Barbara researchers.
Citizen Science Day is April 14.
"There are no passengers on spaceship earth. We are all crew" - Marshall McLuhan.