Bringing you stories about California's wildlife, the threats they face, and the value they bring us.
PCH Project Would Hurt Rare Frog and Snake, Say Groups

PCH Project Would Hurt Rare Frog and Snake, Say Groups

Agencies: A project that would widen Highway 1 in the Bay Area has prompted a lawsuit from conservationists, who say the road-widening would harm local endangered species and their habitat.
Repeal of California's Lead Ammo Ban Fails -- For Now

Repeal of California's Lead Ammo Ban Fails -- For Now

Hunting: A bill that would have repealed most of California's landmark ban on lead ammunition won't be passing before the ban begins to take effect.
Another Mountain Lion Braves the 101, Underscores Importance of Wildlife Crossings

Another Mountain Lion Braves the 101, Underscores Importance of Wildlife Crossings

Mammals: Another Santa Monica Mountains puma has crossed the 101 successfully, and a wildlife crossing would make that crossing less crazily dangerous for the next mountain lion.
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Solar Plant Likely Killed 3,500 Birds in 1st Year

Solar Plant Likely Killed 3,500 Birds in 1st Year

Solar: Some new, startling figures have been published about the likely wildlife impact of a controversial solar facility in the Mojave Desert.
Your Help Needed to Find SoCal Flying Squirrels

Your Help Needed to Find SoCal Flying Squirrels

Mammals: The U.S. Forest Service is looking for your help as it studies one of Southern California's most endangered species.
Feds Won't Be Protecting California Sage Grouse After All

Feds Won't Be Protecting California Sage Grouse After All

Birds: Wildlife advocates say the federal government is kowtowing to cow-country business interests in deciding not to list the Mono Basin sage grouse as Threatened.
19-Year Bobcat Study Discovers Extreme Cuteness

19-Year Bobcat Study Discovers Extreme Cuteness

Mammals: The most recent discoveries in a 19-year study of bobcats in the Santa Monica Mountains and Simi Hills may not rewrite the science books, but they are hecka cute.
Nation's Landmark Bird Protection Law Likely to See Major Changes

Nation's Landmark Bird Protection Law Likely to See Major Changes

Commentary: Changes to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act could give a tool to law enforcement agencies to crack down on the worst environmental violators. But if those changes aren't done right, they could pull the law's teeth -- and consign North American birds to more and more deaths.
Rural County Wants Its Bobcats Protected From Trapping

Rural County Wants Its Bobcats Protected From Trapping

Mammals: Backers of an end to bobcat trapping in California got some indirect support from one of the state's most rural counties.
Pacific Coast Sardine Fishery Closed Until 2016

Pacific Coast Sardine Fishery Closed Until 2016

Fishing: Pacific sardine stocks off the coast of California are collapsing faster than anyone expected, and the agency responsible for regulating the West Coast's fisheries has banned commercial fishing of sardines for the next 15 months.
Condors Throw Dead Sea Lion Party at Big Sur

Condors Throw Dead Sea Lion Party at Big Sur

Birds: The current alarming die-off of sea lions along the California coast may have a short-term silver lining: offering an occasional meal to California's largest bird.
Elk Deaths Are National Park Service's Fault, Says Group

Elk Deaths Are National Park Service's Fault, Says Group

Mammals: More than 250 native tule elk have died at Point Reyes since 2012, and a wildlife protection group says fences are to blame.
County Suspends Contract with Controversial Federal Agency

County Suspends Contract with Controversial Federal Agency

Agencies: Mendocino County, on California's North Coast, has decided to hold off on renewing a contract with a controversial federal agency that kills predators and other animals.
Cute Rodent, Once Thought Extinct, Going Home Next Week

Cute Rodent, Once Thought Extinct, Going Home Next Week

Mammals: An endangered species of vole that scientists once thought had gone extinct will be going through a rite of passage next week, as biologists release some of the wild voles' captive-bred progeny back into their natural desert wetland habitat.
Pond Turtle, Whole Bunch of Other Species May Win Federal Protection

Pond Turtle, Whole Bunch of Other Species May Win Federal Protection

Agencies: A whole lot of California species are being considered for protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.
Feds Decide Not To Protect Rare Weasel, Lawsuit Looms

Feds Decide Not To Protect Rare Weasel, Lawsuit Looms

Mammals: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is announcing this week that it won't be adding the Humboldt marten to the Endangered Species list, prompting a promise from one environmental group that it would sue to reverse the decision.
Study Proves How Little We Know About Wind Power and Eagle Mortality

Study Proves How Little We Know About Wind Power and Eagle Mortality

Commentary: We have better, more solid data on planets outside our solar system than we do on eagle mortalities at wind energy plants in California. Why is that?
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.
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.