Bringing you stories about California's wildlife, the threats they face, and the value they bring us.
Desert Bloom Means Desert Butterflies: 6 Nice Ones to Watch For

Desert Bloom Means Desert Butterflies: 6 Nice Ones to Watch For

Invertebrates: Where there are desert flowers, there are desert butterflies. Here are six of the showiest and most interesting.
Work on Solar Project Halted to Protect Lizard

Work on Solar Project Halted to Protect Lizard

Solar: Work has halted on a solar power facility in Imperial County due to the possibility that a rare lizard on site may be listed as an endangered species by the state.
Ivory Ban Bill Advances In Sacramento

Ivory Ban Bill Advances In Sacramento

Legislation: A bill that would ban sale of almost all products containing ivory and rhino horn in California passed a major hurdle today in the Assembly.
Story Continues Below
Support KCET
Opposition Swells to Solar Plant Next to Mojave Preserve

Opposition Swells to Solar Plant Next to Mojave Preserve

Photovoltaic (PV): A proposed solar power plant that some opponents are calling "the worst renewable energy project currently under consideration" in California just found itself some significant opposition.
Camera Catches 'Missing' Lion Kitten, Sibling, Mom in Santa Monicas

Camera Catches 'Missing' Lion Kitten, Sibling, Mom in Santa Monicas

Mammals: Staff at the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area got some welcome news by way of a camera trap recently: A 15-month-old puma kitten who had been feared dead showed up looking quite healthy in some of the images.
If Delta Salmon Die, They Could Take Orcas With Them

If Delta Salmon Die, They Could Take Orcas With Them

Commentary: The more water we take out of the Delta, the more imperiled the Sacramento's Chinook salmon runs become -- and that's bad news for the orcas that depend on them.
Bird Conservation Group Wants Tighter Controls on Wind Industry

Bird Conservation Group Wants Tighter Controls on Wind Industry

Wind: A national bird protection group is calling on the federal government to require wind energy operators to get permits to kill birds that are protected under one of the nation's oldest environmental laws.
Veterinary Drugs Hurting NorCal Turkey Vultures

Veterinary Drugs Hurting NorCal Turkey Vultures

Birds: Turkey vultures are turning up comatose in wildlife clinics in northern California, and a widely used veterinary euthanasia drug seems to be the culprit.
Another Eagle Death at Nevada Wind Project

Another Eagle Death at Nevada Wind Project

Wind: A wind energy facility in eastern Nevada killed its second golden eagle in January, and environmentalists are demanding action from the federal government to prevent more eagle deaths there.
Scores of Birds Killed During Test of Solar Project in Nevada

Scores of Birds Killed During Test of Solar Project in Nevada

Concentrating Solar: A test of a solar power tower project in Nevada resulted in injuries to over a hundred birds, the BLM is reporting, though the project's owners say they've fixed the problem since.
Rare Lizard Finally Gets State Protection... For Now

Rare Lizard Finally Gets State Protection... For Now

Reptiles: A horned lizard whose decline has troubled conservationists for decades finally got a break today, when the California Fish and Game Commission agreed to consider adding it to the state's list of Endangered Species.
Bill Would Gut Major Bird Protection Laws

Bill Would Gut Major Bird Protection Laws

Commentary: A bill that would seriously curtail the reach of two major federal bird protection laws has been introduced in the House of Representatives, and its sponsors clearly intend the measure as a boon to the renewable energy industry.
Coyote Hunting Contests Banned, But Killing Events Continue

Coyote Hunting Contests Banned, But Killing Events Continue

Hunting: The controversial coyote-killing contest that sparked the state's landmark ban is set to take place again this weekend -- with just enough procedural changes to skirt the ban.
Grazing Fees Raised For Public Lands

Grazing Fees Raised For Public Lands

Land Use: The federal government has raised the amount it charges ranchers to graze cattle and other livestock on public land, but it's still a sweetheart deal for ranchers.
Saving the Salton Sea, Part II: Can't Wait For the State

Saving the Salton Sea, Part II: Can't Wait For the State

Colorado River: To save the Salton Sea, California will need to spend billions of dollars over the next several decades. But the Imperial Irrigation District isn't waiting for that to happen.
A Brief History of the Elephant Seals at Piedras Blancas

A Brief History of the Elephant Seals at Piedras Blancas

Golden Green: The recovery of the northern elephant seal population is a welcome sign of nature's resilience and human stewardship.
Feds Quietly Double Allowable Kill of Endangered Delta Fish

Feds Quietly Double Allowable Kill of Endangered Delta Fish

Fish: Just days after the California Department of Fish and Wildlife reported the worst season in history for the federally Endangered delta smelt, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service quietly gave permission in early January for Central Valley water projects to kill more than twice as many smelts this year.
Mystery Goo Injuring Hundreds of Seabirds in San Francisco Bay

Mystery Goo Injuring Hundreds of Seabirds in San Francisco Bay

Birds: An as-yet unidentified substance is fouling the feathers of hundreds of birds on the east shores of San Francisco Bay, and at least 25 of the affected birds have died, reports a California bird rescue organization.
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.
Bobcats Poisoned In Santa Cruz

Bobcats Poisoned In Santa Cruz

Mammals: At least three Santa Cruz bobcats have died in the last four months of complications related to ingestion of rat poisons.
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.
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.