Bringing you stories about California's wildlife, the threats they face, and the value they bring us.
Agencies
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.
Story Continues Below
Support KCET
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.
Citing Federal Inaction, Group Wants Lizard Protected By State

Citing Federal Inaction, Group Wants Lizard Protected By State

Reptiles: Environmentalists are now asking the state to protect a rare Southern California lizard under the state's Endangered Species Act.
Ban on Wildlife Killing Contests Moves Forward

Ban on Wildlife Killing Contests Moves Forward

Hunting: Last week's California Fish and Game Commission got a lot of press attention for the Commission's decision to add the gray wolf to the state's Endangered Species list, but another decision by the Commission has so far slipped under the radar: an agreement to move forward on a ban on wildlife-killing contests in the state of California.
California Panel Votes to List Gray Wolves as Endangered

California Panel Votes to List Gray Wolves as Endangered

Agencies: It's a big day for gray wolves that might deign to visit California: the species has just been listed as Endangered under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA), and there may be half a dozen wolf cubs in southern Oregon waiting to take advantage of that new legal protection once they're old enough to wander across the state line.
Rat Poison Company to Discontinue Household Products

Rat Poison Company to Discontinue Household Products

Agencies: A company that sells rodent poisons that have been implicated in the deaths of a wide range of wildlife is agreeing to remove some of those products from the over-the-counter market, the Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday.
Feds Move to Protect Sperm Whales From Fishing Nets

Feds Move to Protect Sperm Whales From Fishing Nets

Mammals: A bill that would have phased out the use of drift gillnets off the California coast died in committee last month in the state Assembly, but a federal agency is taking emergency action.
As Hibernation Ends, California Wants You to Be Bear Aware

As Hibernation Ends, California Wants You to Be Bear Aware

Mammals: The California Department of Fish and Wildlife wants the public to redouble efforts to bear-proof food and trash, whether backpacking or at home.
Irrigators Sue to Block Water For Salmon, Wildlife Refuges

Irrigators Sue to Block Water For Salmon, Wildlife Refuges

Commentary: A agency that represents 22 irrigation districts and other water providers in the Central Valley is asking a judge to block the U.S. government from releasing water to benefit other water users, including wildlife refuges.
Drought Shrinking Mono Lake: Water Exports To L.A. Near-Certain To Be Cut

Drought Shrinking Mono Lake: Water Exports To L.A. Near-Certain To Be Cut

Aquatic: Mono Lake is being seriously affected by the ongoing drought, with water levels dropped so far that any further decline will force LADWP to drastically reduce water exports from the Mono Basin.
Dozens Cited at NorCal State Abalone Checkpoint

Dozens Cited at NorCal State Abalone Checkpoint

Invertebrates: State game wardens handed out 31 citations and warned several dozen additional fish harvesters at a wildlife law enforcement checkpoint near Jenner, California on Sunday. The checkpoint was part of a mounting effort by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to educate sport fishers about the importance of protecting the state's remaining abalone.
Weakening Beetle's Protection is Bad Science, Groups Say

Weakening Beetle's Protection is Bad Science, Groups Say

Invertebrates: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to take a California beetle off the Endangered Species Act's Threatened list, but two leading environmental groups are charging that the move is based on politics rather than science.
Feds Say 'No' to Cutting Protection for Endangered Mojave Plant

Feds Say 'No' to Cutting Protection for Endangered Mojave Plant

Plants: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that a shrub found in just four places in the Mojave Desert still warrants its Endangered status, despite a petition from a conservative group to reduce the plant's status to Threatened.
Swordfish Catching Technique Could Be Banned to Protect Other Marine Life

Swordfish Catching Technique Could Be Banned to Protect Other Marine Life

Fish: A bill in Sacramento would ban the use of drift gillnets in California waters due to what opponents call an unacceptably high level of harm the nets cause to marine mammals, sea turtles, and other non-target wildlife.
Reaction Split on Gov. Brown's Newest Drought Proclamation

Reaction Split on Gov. Brown's Newest Drought Proclamation

Agencies: California Governor Jerry Brown raised the stakes in the state's response to the ongoing drought Friday, and reaction to the move from environmentalists is decidedly mixed.
3 California Frogs Win Protection Under Endangered Species Act

3 California Frogs Win Protection Under Endangered Species Act

Amphibians: Good news for frogs and their admirers: the US Fish and Wildlife Service has granted protection to three species of frogs in California -- or more precisely, two frogs and a toad -- under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.
Northwest Water Users Want Exemption from Salmon Protection

Northwest Water Users Want Exemption from Salmon Protection

Fish: In a move that could have ramifications in drought-stricken California, a group representing irrigators in the Columbia and Snake river basins want to use an obscure federal law to prevent new protection of the area's salmon and steelhead populations.
War of Words Mounts in Race to Protect Desert Snail

War of Words Mounts in Race to Protect Desert Snail

Commentary: A small snail found only in a few small hills in the Mojave Desert has launched a public dispute, as mining interests and wildlife advocates spar over whether the species should be granted federal protection.
State Gets Closer To Ban On Wildlife-Killing Contests

State Gets Closer To Ban On Wildlife-Killing Contests

Mammals: The campaign to end wildlife killing contests like the annual "Coyote Derby" in Adin, California got a boost this week, as the California Fish and Game Commission voted 3-2 to propose a rule that would ban offering prizes for killing predatory mammals in California.
Drought to Hit Central Valley Wetlands Hard

Drought to Hit Central Valley Wetlands Hard

Birds: The California agency that manages the state's massive State Water Project has released a drought management plan for the summer, and it includes bad -- but not particularly surprising -- news for the Central Valley's wetlands.