Bringing you stories about California's wildlife, the threats they face, and the value they bring us.
Environment Largely Unmentioned in State of the Union

Environment Largely Unmentioned in State of the Union

Commentary: The environment was essentially a no-show in the 2015 State of the Union Speech.
Report: Fracking Imperils Southern California Residents, Wildlife

Report: Fracking Imperils Southern California Residents, Wildlife

Natural Gas: A state report released Wednesday says that fracking at three oil fields in Southern California poses significant potential risk to the environment and public health.
Barbara Boxer, Environmental Lion

Barbara Boxer, Environmental Lion

Commentary: There's little in Boxer's record in the House and Senate to make an ardent liberal unhappy. And most of the Senator's positions on environmental issues have been no exception.
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Gardening to Help Monarch Butterflies? Plant Natives.

Gardening to Help Monarch Butterflies? Plant Natives.

Invertebrates: There are 15 species of California native milkweed that gardeners can choose from to give monarchs a helping hand. Not all of them are readily available in nurseries, but with a little searching you should be able to find at least one appropriate for your part of the state.
Is it Time to End Coyote Hunting in California?

Is it Time to End Coyote Hunting in California?

Commentary: Last week's sad news about the Grand Canyon wolf proves again that wolves will be shot by hunters who mistake them for coyotes. The solution: end recreational coyote hunting.
Monarch Butterfly May Join Endangered Species List

Monarch Butterfly May Join Endangered Species List

Invertebrates: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will spend a year deciding whether to grant the monarch butterfly protection under the Endangered Species Act, according to an announcement scheduled to be released Wednesday.
Feds May Strip Protection from Rare SoCal Bird

Feds May Strip Protection from Rare SoCal Bird

Birds: Though the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decided just four years ago that the coastal California gnatcatcher still needs the protection of the U.S. Endangered Species Act, the agency is announcing Wednesday that it will consider removing the bird from the list of Threatened species.
New Wildlife Laws Taking Effect on New Years' Day

New Wildlife Laws Taking Effect on New Years' Day

Legislation: Come New Year's Day, new wildlife laws going into effect include a number of procedural matters, refinements and clarifications of earlier laws, and a few important new wildlife protection measures. We've described the most important here.
Citing Declines, Groups Want California Spotted Owl Protected

Citing Declines, Groups Want California Spotted Owl Protected

Birds: Logging has seriously hurt the California spotted owl, say two wildlife groups who want the bird protected under the Endangered Species Act.
'Helpful Tortoise' in Viral Video Probably Not All That Helpful

'Helpful Tortoise' in Viral Video Probably Not All That Helpful

Reptiles: Sometimes knowing things about the natural world is a real downer.
People and Large Carnivores Can Live Together, Study Suggests

People and Large Carnivores Can Live Together, Study Suggests

Mammals: Good news for Californians who like having wolves, bears, bobcats and pumas around: a study by 50 European wildlife biologists suggests that given public support and a few laws protecting them, large carnivores can coexist with large numbers of people.
Modified Bay Delta Plan Still Draws Critics

Modified Bay Delta Plan Still Draws Critics

Bay and Delta: A $25 billion plan to reengineer the Sacramento Delta and San Francisco Bay estuary has been trimmed down, but some say the project would still harm fish and other aspects of the Delta's beleaguered environment.
Wind Company Convicted in Deaths of Eagles, Other Birds

Wind Company Convicted in Deaths of Eagles, Other Birds

Wind: A Portland-based wind energy company that recently sued the federal government to keep its bird death data secret has been convicted in federal court over deaths of protected birds at two of its wind facilities in Wyoming.
Study: Male Bobcats At Higher Risk From SoCal Roads

Study: Male Bobcats At Higher Risk From SoCal Roads

Mammals: All bobcats in three Southern California mountain ranges seem to shun roads whenever possible, but males run a higher risk of being killed by vehicular traffic, according to a recent study
Amador County Man Racks Up Fines, Probation on Deer Poaching Charges

Amador County Man Racks Up Fines, Probation on Deer Poaching Charges

Mammals: A resident of the Sierra Nevada foothills was sentenced to probation and thousands of dollars in fines after being convicted on trophy deer poaching charges this week.
Habitat Loss Hurts Mountain Lions in the Santa Ana Range, Too

Habitat Loss Hurts Mountain Lions in the Santa Ana Range, Too

Mammals: Mountain lions in the Santa Ana Mountains have become cut off from their neighbors in the nearby Peninsular Ranges by Interstate 15 and other development -- and that's bad for the big cats.
Wilder Condors At Greater Risk of Lead Poisoning

Wilder Condors At Greater Risk of Lead Poisoning

Birds: Turns out being independent-minded is a double-edged sword for the critically endangered California condor. According to a new study, condors that find their own food run a high risk of lead poisoning.
Mine Near Red Rock Canyon State Park May Get No Environmental Review

Mine Near Red Rock Canyon State Park May Get No Environmental Review

Agencies: Kern County is ready to approve an open-pit mine complex next to Red Rock Canyon State Park without reviewing the mine's environmental impact.
Could Canadian Fish Farms Harm California's Wild Salmon?

Could Canadian Fish Farms Harm California's Wild Salmon?

Commentary: Activists charge that diseases from British Columbia fish farms are affecting wild salmon runs all along the Pacific Coast.
Rare Baja Porpoise Likely Extinct by 2018, Yet Illegal Fishing Continues in Refuge

Rare Baja Porpoise Likely Extinct by 2018, Yet Illegal Fishing Continues in Refuge

Mammals: Satellite photos taken earlier this month show that illegal gill-net fishing is rampant in an area of the Sea of Cortez set aside for protection of the world's most endangered marine mammal.
This 6th Grader Just Made a Crucial, Scary Contribution to Wildland Science

This 6th Grader Just Made a Crucial, Scary Contribution to Wildland Science

Invasive Species: Turns out you can be an effective citizen scientist way before you're old enough to vote.
Rare Desert Lizard May Get State Protection

Rare Desert Lizard May Get State Protection

Reptiles: The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is recommending that that the flat-tailed horned lizard be listed as Endangered in the state.
The Salton Sea is Crucial Wildlife Habitat. Here's Why.

The Salton Sea is Crucial Wildlife Habitat. Here's Why.

Birds: The Salton Sea as we know it is doomed unless the State of California takes action, and that's bad news for wildlife. To understand why, we have to talk about the formation of the Grand Canyon.
Imperiled Bird Gets Emergency Protection

Imperiled Bird Gets Emergency Protection

Birds: A songbird that was once considered the most common bird in California was granted emergency protection Wednesday under the California Endangered Species Act.
Yes, You Can Adopt This Animal Listed Under the Endangered Species Act

Yes, You Can Adopt This Animal Listed Under the Endangered Species Act

Rewild: Not many people can say they are the proud owner of a Threatened animal species.
State Bans Coyote-Killing Contests

State Bans Coyote-Killing Contests

Mammals: Coyote-killing contests are no longer legal in the state of California.
Study: Social Networking Could Make Relocated Desert Tortoises Sick

Study: Social Networking Could Make Relocated Desert Tortoises Sick

Reptiles: A new study suggests that moving desert tortoises into new locations may actually cause outbreaks of disease by changing what we might as well just succumb to the obvious clickbait temptation and call the reptiles' social networking habits.
Citing 'Science,' Republicans Force Delay on Habitat for Rare Bird

Citing 'Science,' Republicans Force Delay on Habitat for Rare Bird

Commentary: Yielding to pressure from conservative interests, the lead federal agency charged with protecting endangered wildlife has reopened public comment on proposed habitat for a western bird recently added to the list of Threatened species.
It's Time for Independent Monitoring of Wildlife Kills at Renewable Energy Sites

It's Time for Independent Monitoring of Wildlife Kills at Renewable Energy Sites

Commentary: A recent lawsuit raises a question that's beginning to be asked by any number of people watching the renewable energy industry: Why do we trust renewable energy companies to report on their own wildlife kills?
Study: Grazing, Vehicles Bad For Desert Tortoises

Study: Grazing, Vehicles Bad For Desert Tortoises

Reptiles: A new study of desert tortoise populations in the western Mojave Desert shows that the reptiles fare better when they're protected from off-road vehicles and grazing livestock.
Groups Sue NorCal County Over Work With Federal Wildlife Agency

Groups Sue NorCal County Over Work With Federal Wildlife Agency

Mammals: A coalition of wildlife protection groups filed a lawsuit against Mendocino County on Tuesday charging that the county's contract with a controversial federal wildlife agency violates state environmental laws.
Gray Wolf Confirmed In Northern Arizona

Gray Wolf Confirmed In Northern Arizona

Mammals: Federal biologists have confirmed that a gray wolf seems to be visiting the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.
Study Hints That Kelp Forests May Weather Climate Change

Study Hints That Kelp Forests May Weather Climate Change

Aquatic: Climate change threatens to radically alter most of California's landscapes, but a recent study suggests that at least one of the state's emblematic ecosystems may actually have a chance to thrive in a greenhouse-gas-enhanced world.
You Have More Time To Comment On That Desert Energy Plan

You Have More Time To Comment On That Desert Energy Plan

DRECP: Those of you who are planning to comment on the gargantuan and nearly incomprehensible plan to regulate energy development on 22 million acres of the California Desert now have an extra six and a half weeks to do so.
National Monument Proposals for California Desert are Back

National Monument Proposals for California Desert are Back

Legislation: Representative Raul Ruiz, seated on left, applauds as Senator Dianne Feinstein announces her intent to reintroduce a desert protection bill. | Photo: Chris Clarke U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein is rebooting her effort to protect almost a million and a half...
Gray Wolf Sighted At Grand Canyon

Gray Wolf Sighted At Grand Canyon

Mammals: For the first time in over 70 years, a gray wolf has been sighted roaming the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, according to conservation groups who viewed a photo shared with them by a visitor to Grand Canyon National Park.
Report: Sacramento Delta 'No Longer a Delta'

Report: Sacramento Delta 'No Longer a Delta'

Aquatic: Though it's no secret that the Sacramento Delta has been radically transformed for agriculture, urban development and water supply, a new report on those changes offers some truly sobering facts about just how much of the Delta we've lost.
Breeding Program May Save Desert Rodent

Breeding Program May Save Desert Rodent

Mammals: The Amargosa vole, once thought extinct, is getting some help from a captive breeding program at UC Davis.
Groups Sue Feds Over Failure to Protect Wolverines

Groups Sue Feds Over Failure to Protect Wolverines

Mammals: Eight conservation groups filed suit Monday in Federal court to force the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reconsider its decision in August not to list the American wolverine as a Threatened species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.
Group Seeks State Protection For Imperiled Tricolored Blackbird

Group Seeks State Protection For Imperiled Tricolored Blackbird

Birds: Citing alarmingly steep declines in the species' population, a conservation group is asking the State of California to list the tricolored blackbird as Endangered under the California Endangered Species Act.
Rare Weasel May Get Federal Protection

Rare Weasel May Get Federal Protection

Mammals: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Wednesday that it may add Pacific fishers in three western states to the list of Threatened Species.
Group Opposes Coyote Cull in Seal Beach

Group Opposes Coyote Cull in Seal Beach

Mammals: Animal welfare activists are opposing the use of gas chambers to kill coyotes in Seal Beach, and have scheduled a demonstration for Sunday to make that opposition public.
Imperiled California Bird Gets Federal Protection

Imperiled California Bird Gets Federal Protection

Birds: After waiting more than 15 years for the federal government to decide on whether it merits protection, the western population of the yellow-billed cuckoo will be listed as Threatened Friday under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.
'Red Bugs' Confirmed in San Diego County

'Red Bugs' Confirmed in San Diego County

Invertebrates: An insect found in Ramona has been positively identified as the red bug Scantius aegyptius, native to the Mediterranean, the San Diego County Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures said Wednesday.
Good Dog! Sheepdogs Protect Predators as They Protect Sheep

Good Dog! Sheepdogs Protect Predators as They Protect Sheep

Mammals: It's no secret that well-trained sheepdogs do a great job of protecting sheep from wolves, coyotes, mountain lions and other predators. But what you might not realize is that those sheepdogs can help protect the predators as well.
New Study Will Track Bears In Yosemite High Country

New Study Will Track Bears In Yosemite High Country

Mammals: For the first time, the National Park Service will be fitting Yosemite National Park bears with GPS collars to track their movements outside crowded Yosemite Valley.
Hard Summer Rains Bring Desert Mushrooms

Hard Summer Rains Bring Desert Mushrooms

Fungi: You expect certain kinds of living things in the desert. Scaly, occasionally venomous reptiles, plants with fierce armor, swift and clever animals accustomed to dealing with heat and drought. But mushrooms?
Groups Push For 'Cougar Crossing' in San Fernando Valley

Groups Push For 'Cougar Crossing' in San Fernando Valley

Mammals: The campaign to build a freeway crossing to allow mountain lions and other wildlife to travel safely between the Santa Monica Mountains and other open space got a boost Friday, as elected officials and the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) joined the effort at a rally in Agoura Hills.
No Protection for 2 Rare NorCal Plants

No Protection for 2 Rare NorCal Plants

Plants: Two rare plants from Northern California that have been waiting for Endangered Species Act Protection for more than 30 years won't be getting that protection, the US Fish and Wildlife Service will announce Thursday.
Rare California Beetle Will Stay Protected

Rare California Beetle Will Stay Protected

Invertebrates: A beetle found only in elderberry thickets in the Sacramento Valley will remain on the federal list of Threatened species, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Wednesday.
Report Shows Need to Protect Bird Habitat While Fighting Climate Change

Report Shows Need to Protect Bird Habitat While Fighting Climate Change

Commentary: A recent report by the Audubon Society underscores the dire future North American birds face if we don't act now to stem climate change. But that doesn't let industrial renewable energy facilities off the hook for harm they cause birds.