Bringing you stories about California's wildlife, the threats they face, and the value they bring us.
Agencies
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.
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.
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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.
New Federal Sage Grouse Protection Plan Ignores Threat from Ranching

New Federal Sage Grouse Protection Plan Ignores Threat from Ranching

Commentary: The Department of the Interior announced a new strategy Tuesday to protect habitat of the imperiled sage grouse, but that strategy ignores what many conservationists fear is the main threat to the rare desert bird.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Northern Counties Opposing Ban on Bobcat Trapping

Northern Counties Opposing Ban on Bobcat Trapping

Mammals: The state commission that regulates hunting and trapping in California is considering a complete ban on bobcat trapping in the state, but two Northern California counties have a problem with that.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
State Bans Coyote-Killing Contests

State Bans Coyote-Killing Contests

Mammals: Coyote-killing contests are no longer legal in the state of California.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Logging Green Lit for 52 Square Miles of Rim Fire Burn Area Near Yosemite

Logging Green Lit for 52 Square Miles of Rim Fire Burn Area Near Yosemite

Agencies: The U.S. Forest Service has issued a tentative decision on its controversial plan to log tens of thousands of acres of forest burned in 2013's Rim Fire, and that decision will not please wildlife preservationists.
Spotted Owls Using Burned Sierra Forest Slated for Logging

Spotted Owls Using Burned Sierra Forest Slated for Logging

Birds: More than 250,000 acres of Sierra Nevada forest land burned in the 2013 Rim Fire is turning out to be pretty good habitat for California spotted owls, and a group of wildlife protection organizations is asking the U.S. Forest Service to rethink plans to log the burned areas.
21 Green Groups Will Sue Feds Over Refusal To Protect Wolverine

21 Green Groups Will Sue Feds Over Refusal To Protect Wolverine

Mammals: Mere minutes after the ink was dry on a decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to withdraw a proposal to protect the wolverine under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, environmentalists announced they'd be hauling the agency into court over the decision.
Feds Bail on Protecting Wolverines

Feds Bail on Protecting Wolverines

Agencies: Overruling the strong recommendations of its own scientists, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is withdrawing a proposal to list the North American wolverine as Threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.
Group Calls for State Investigation Into Poisoning of Wildlife Researcher's Dog

Group Calls for State Investigation Into Poisoning of Wildlife Researcher's Dog

Mammals: A national wildlife protection group is urging California's Attorney General to mount an investigation into the poisoning death of a dog belonging to a leading researcher into the effects of rat poisons on wildlife.
Feds May Reopen Popular Climbing Spot in Frog Habitat

Feds May Reopen Popular Climbing Spot in Frog Habitat

Amphibians: A popular climbing area in the Angeles National Forest may be reopened under strict management to protect the local population of an Endangered frog, the U.S. Forest Service announced Wednesday.
Official's Interference in Wolverine Protection Slammed by Scientists

Official's Interference in Wolverine Protection Slammed by Scientists

Mammals: A group of independent scientists is speaking out in response to an order from a high-ranking U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service official to not protect wolverines under the U. S. Endangered Species Act.
California Warns of Bird Botulism Outbreaks

California Warns of Bird Botulism Outbreaks

Birds: As California's lakes and ponds grow ever smaller in this third year of drought, the state's Department of Fish and Wildlife is warning that wild birds are likely to fall victim to a fatal disease linked to stagnant water, and they're asking for your help tracking down victims.
State May Declare Unique NorCal Fish Threatened

State May Declare Unique NorCal Fish Threatened

Fish: The California Fish and Game Commission may decide soon whether to add a freshwater fish found in just one Northern California lake to the state's list of Threatened species.
Wildlife Bridge Planned for 101 Freeway

Wildlife Bridge Planned for 101 Freeway

Agencies: Caltrans officials plan to build a bridge for mountain lions and other wild animals to cross the Ventura Freeway west of Los Angeles, officials have announced.
Feds to Consider Ban on Bluefin Tuna Fishing

Feds to Consider Ban on Bluefin Tuna Fishing

Fish: The Federal agency that manages marine endangered species announced that it's considering a ban on recreational or commercial fishing of a species of tuna that's extremely popular among fans of sashimi.
Walmart Developer Wants Permit to Kill Endangered Insect

Walmart Developer Wants Permit to Kill Endangered Insect

Invertebrates: An Inland Empire retail plaza developer may receive permission from the federal government to kill an endangered fly in exchange for preserving some of the insect's remaining habitat.
State Finds Pot Grow Site Diverting Water From Endangered Salmon Stream

State Finds Pot Grow Site Diverting Water From Endangered Salmon Stream

Agencies: A creek containing the state's southernmost run of the federally endangered coho salmon has been diverted for an illegal pot grow, with as much as 1,400 gallons a day taken away from the fish.
Group Blasts Plans to Keep Rare Bird Off Endangered List

Group Blasts Plans to Keep Rare Bird Off Endangered List

Birds: The federal government's management plans to protect the greater sage grouse don't go nearly far enough to regulate the single greatest threat to the increasingly rare bird, according to a report released this week by the Western Watersheds Project.
Big Step In Restoring Tribal Pupfish Habitat

Big Step In Restoring Tribal Pupfish Habitat

Fish: A Native tribe based in the Owens Valley is applying for a permit to move an endangered desert fish to a specially prepared refuge on the tribe's land, in an effort to restore a species that was once vital to the tribe's survival.
Groups Sue Over Logging In Sierra Nevada Fire Areas

Groups Sue Over Logging In Sierra Nevada Fire Areas

Birds: Plans to log over 5,000 acres of burned trees in the Tahoe and Sierra national forests poses a serious threat to wildlife that depends on burned over forests. That's according to two environmental groups that sued the U.S. Forest Service Thursday to stop the cut.
Leaked Federal Memo Orders Biologists to Abandon Wolverine Protection

Leaked Federal Memo Orders Biologists to Abandon Wolverine Protection

Commentary: The leaked document shows that a regional director doubts climate change's affect on the species.
Biologist: Petition to Remove Protection From Bird Based On Questionable Science

Biologist: Petition to Remove Protection From Bird Based On Questionable Science

Birds: A petition on behalf of two real estate developers' trade groups to remove the coastal California gnatcatcher from protection under the Endangered Species Act is based on questionable science, according to an expert on bird genetics at Occidental College.
Humboldt County Will Reconsider Working With Controversial Wildlife Agency

Humboldt County Will Reconsider Working With Controversial Wildlife Agency

Agencies: A campaign to urge California counties not to work with a controversial federal agency accused of massive cruelty to wildlife is gaining traction, as Humboldt County's Board of Supervisors has agreed to discuss whether to renew the county's annual contract with Wildlife Services.
Counties Urged to Sever Ties With 'Rogue' Federal Wildlife Agency

Counties Urged to Sever Ties With 'Rogue' Federal Wildlife Agency

Agencies: A group of environmental organizations is now formally asking Humboldt and Mendocino counties to join Sonoma and Marin counties to their south in cutting off contracts with the federal agency Wildlife Services.
Group Will Sue to Block 'Evisceration' of Endangered Species Act

Group Will Sue to Block 'Evisceration' of Endangered Species Act

Commentary: A seemingly arcane shift in policy on the part of two federal agencies about enforcement of the Endangered Species Act has wildlife advocates ready to head to court, saying that the Obama administration is "eviscerating" protection for endangered and threatened species by making the change.
Bobcat Poacher Gets Probation

Bobcat Poacher Gets Probation

Mammals: A man who pled guilty to illegally trapping and killing dozens of bobcats and gray foxes in Lassen County was fined $5,000 and sentenced to a year's probation.
Feds Consider Listing Adorable Predator as Endangered

Feds Consider Listing Adorable Predator as Endangered

Mammals: The federal government is seeking public comments on whether or not one of California's rarest and most photogenic predators should be listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.