Bringing you stories about California's wildlife, the threats they face, and the value they bring us.
Groups Want a New Look at Delta Tunnel Plan

Groups Want a New Look at Delta Tunnel Plan

BDCP: Environmental groups say the government isn't being fair in discussing alternatives to a proposal to build large tunnels to shunt water around the Delta.
Rising Seas And The Delta Part 2: Disaster Looms

Rising Seas And The Delta Part 2: Disaster Looms

Bay and Delta: As our carbon-enhanced atmosphere warms the planet, and sea levels rise as a result, the scale of the resulting changes coming to the Delta are truly staggering.
Rising Seas And The Delta Part 1: How The Delta Got Where It Is

Rising Seas And The Delta Part 1: How The Delta Got Where It Is

Bay and Delta: Sea level rise may take the present-day Delta away from us, but it was sea level rise that gave us the Delta in the first place.
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Green Sturgeon Prevails In Federal Appeals Court

Green Sturgeon Prevails In Federal Appeals Court

Fish: A federal appeals court rules that the government paid enough attention to economic impacts when designating critical habitat for the green sturgeon.
Group Wants Do-Over on Tricolored Blackbird Decision

Group Wants Do-Over on Tricolored Blackbird Decision

Birds: Citing irregularities in a June vote not to protect the tricolored blackbird, a wildlife group wants the California Fish and Game Commission to reconsider.
The Bay Delta's Waning Giant: White Sturgeon

The Bay Delta's Waning Giant: White Sturgeon

Fish: The Bay Delta's white sturgeon was once lauded as a success story for careful management of fisheries. Now it's declining anyway.
Bay Delta Fish You've Never Heard Of: Sacramento Perch

Bay Delta Fish You've Never Heard Of: Sacramento Perch

Fish: If there were any fish native to the Delta that seemed tailor-made to withstand the drought, it would have to be the Sacramento perch. And yet the Sacramento perch is almost certainly extinct in the Delta.
State's Most-Endangered Mammal Gains Ground in Delta

State's Most-Endangered Mammal Gains Ground in Delta

Mammals: The riparian brush rabbit, found in just a few patches of forest in the Delta, may be California's most endangered mammal.
Bay Delta Fish You've Never Heard Of: Longfin Smelt

Bay Delta Fish You've Never Heard Of: Longfin Smelt

Fish: The Threatened Delta smelt is famous, but there's another smelt in the Bay Delta whose decline is making wildlife partisans worried.
Green Sturgeon: The Bay Delta's Disappearing Prehistoric Sea Monster

Green Sturgeon: The Bay Delta's Disappearing Prehistoric Sea Monster

Fish: Despite being called "living fossils," green sturgeon are highly adapted to conditions in the Bay Delta -- but those conditions are changing too fast for the sturgeon to keep up.
Bay Delta Fish You've Never Heard Of: Sacramento Splittail

Bay Delta Fish You've Never Heard Of: Sacramento Splittail

Fish: The splittail was once abundant enough to provide a substantial Native fishery. Now its numbers are dwindling. But it isn't protected under either the state or federal Endangered Species Acts.
Rare, Controversial Beetle Still Hangs On in Delta

Rare, Controversial Beetle Still Hangs On in Delta

Invertebrates: In 2010, opponents of protection for a controversial Delta beetle tried to strip it of its Federal protection. But wildlife advocates argued back -- and the science backed them up.
The Tiny Clams That Ate the Bay Delta

The Tiny Clams That Ate the Bay Delta

Aquatic: In the last few decades, the Bay Delta's ecological productivity has dropped catastrophically. And the likely culprits are tiny, have hard shells, and live in the estuary in unimaginable numbers.
A Confusing, Compelling Wild Fish: Steelhead in the Delta

A Confusing, Compelling Wild Fish: Steelhead in the Delta

Aquatic: The more you study the Delta's sleek, silvery steelhead, the less you realize you know.
3 Invasive Animals That Have Permanently Changed the Delta

3 Invasive Animals That Have Permanently Changed the Delta

Invasive Species: A fish, a frog, and a turtle have caused widespread damage to the Delta...and we brought them here on purpose.
5 Invasive Plants Currently Messing Up California's Delta

5 Invasive Plants Currently Messing Up California's Delta

Plants: California's Delta is a nearly ideal place to grow many plants. Here are some troublemakers who are taking advantage of that opportunity.
A Guide to L.A. County's Coastal Nature Preserves

A Guide to L.A. County's Coastal Nature Preserves

Guides: Despite a couple centuries of seemingly rampant development, we still have a few pieces of the natural Los Angeles coast, some of it remaining because of fierce political battles to preserve it.
The Bay Delta's Cutest Endangered Species Hangs On

The Bay Delta's Cutest Endangered Species Hangs On

Aquatic: Some endangered species look like they might merit legions of squeeing fans on YouTube. And one such critter still ekes out a living in San Francisco Bay's beleaguered but recovering salt marshes.
San Francisco Bay's Lost World: The Saltmarsh

San Francisco Bay's Lost World: The Saltmarsh

Birds: When the first western naturalists to visit San Francisco Bay arrived in 1816 aboard the Russian ship Rurik, there were an estimated 200,000 acres of salt marsh fringing the Bay's shores. By the 1990s, about 95 percent of that original salt marsh habitat had been lost.
Tricolored Blackbirds: The Delta's Passenger Pigeon

Tricolored Blackbirds: The Delta's Passenger Pigeon

Birds: The tricolored blackbird used to be California's most common bird. Now, it's unusual to see one in many places where it was once prevalent. And the state of California just decided it doesn't need protection.
The Delta Smelt: Keystone Species, Political Flashpoint, Possibly Already Extinct

The Delta Smelt: Keystone Species, Political Flashpoint, Possibly Already Extinct

Fish: It used to be so common that trawlers caught it to send to markets. Now, fisheries experts say it will likely be extinct in a few years... if it isn't already.
Grizzlies In the Tules, Part 2: Larger Mammals of the Historic Delta

Grizzlies In the Tules, Part 2: Larger Mammals of the Historic Delta

Mammals: The prehistoric Delta teemed with huge herds of hoofed mammals, and at least one large species of formidable carnivore took advantage of those herds.
Bay Delta Salmon, Part 2: Making Rivers Flow Uphill

Bay Delta Salmon, Part 2: Making Rivers Flow Uphill

Bay and Delta: The Central Valley's Chinook salmon face an uphill battle if they're going to survive into the 22nd Century. It's just a good thing salmon are really good at uphill battles.
Bay Delta Salmon, Part 1: Damming The Chinook to Near-Extinction

Bay Delta Salmon, Part 1: Damming The Chinook to Near-Extinction

Bay and Delta: California's chinook salmon runs were once marvels of ecological richness -- and the biggest of those runs all entered their native streams by way of the Bay-Delta ecosystem.
A Brief Guide to Orange County's Coastal Nature Reserves

A Brief Guide to Orange County's Coastal Nature Reserves

Guides: Orange County isn't all upscale shopping, gated communities, and the 405. It's also got quite a bit of wild nature still left within the county lines -- including a string of wonderful wetland preserves along the coast.
Major Move Forward for Ban on Ivory, Rhino Horn

Major Move Forward for Ban on Ivory, Rhino Horn

Legislation: A bill the would close a serious loophole in California's existing ban on sales of ivory and rhinoceros horn made it out of committee and is heading for the Assembly floor.
It May Get a Lot Harder to Protect Imperiled Species

It May Get a Lot Harder to Protect Imperiled Species

Agencies: The Obama administration is suggesting a revamp of the Endangered Species Act, and that has some environmentalists seeing red.
A Brief Guide to 15 of San Diego County's Coastal Nature Preserves

A Brief Guide to 15 of San Diego County's Coastal Nature Preserves

Guides: From the Tijuana River to Camp Pendleton, a string of accessible nature preserves dotting the San Diego County coast gives wildlife a little breathing room.
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.
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.