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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.
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.
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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.
Group Seeks State Protection For Imperiled Tricolored Blackbird

Group Seeks State Protection For Imperiled Tricolored Blackbird

Birds: Citing alarmingly steep declines in the species' population, a conservation group is asking the State of California to list the tricolored blackbird as Endangered under the California Endangered Species Act.
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.
Arid Land Birds in Steep Decline

Arid Land Birds in Steep Decline

Birds: A new report reveals that birds of America's deserts, chaparral, and sagebrush lands are in more trouble than those in other habitats.
Report: Inaction Way More Expensive Than Fixing Salton Sea

Report: Inaction Way More Expensive Than Fixing Salton Sea

Aquatic: A new report says that despite the daunting price tag fixing the Salton Sea, doing nothing could cost at least $10 billion more, and perhaps $50 billion.
Researchers Untangle Secrets of Bird Migration

Researchers Untangle Secrets of Bird Migration

Birds: A new study of a small migratory bird that passes through California might offer a way to fine-tune our understanding of bird migration. And that's important, because migratory birds are in trouble across the continent.
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.
Feds Propose Habitat for Imperiled Bird

Feds Propose Habitat for Imperiled Bird

Birds: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to declare more than 850 square miles of stream banks and floodplains in the western U.S. as critical habitat for an increasingly rare bird, the agency announced Thursday.
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.
Dead Birds Prompt Renewed Pesticide Spraying in Bay Area

Dead Birds Prompt Renewed Pesticide Spraying in Bay Area

Invertebrates: A Bay Area county not usually known as a hotspot for West Nile virus has undertaken a second round of pesticide spraying this year after finding mosquitoes infected with the virus, according to public health officials.
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.
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.
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.
Pioneering California Bird Researcher Dies

Pioneering California Bird Researcher Dies

Birds: Peter Marler, a UC Davis-based ornithologist who discovered that regional populations of songbirds can sing in distinct dialects, has died at age 86 of pneumonia.
Crash In Tricolored Blackbird Population Has Biologists Worried

Crash In Tricolored Blackbird Population Has Biologists Worried

Birds: A bird sometimes called "California's passenger pigeon" is in worse trouble than some wildlife advocates suspected. According to a new survey, the population of tricolored blackbirds has dropped by 44 percent since 2011.
Condor Visits San Mateo County for First Time in 110 Years

Condor Visits San Mateo County for First Time in 110 Years

Birds: The first confirmed California condor visit to San Mateo County in 110 years took place in late May, when a condor visited near the coastal town of Pescadero 40 miles south of San Francisco.
5 Species You Might Have Mistakenly Thought Were California Natives

5 Species You Might Have Mistakenly Thought Were California Natives

Invasive Species: Did you know that all of these animals are exotics that were introduced to California? Some of the entries on this list may surprise you.
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.
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.
Endangered Species Day: 4 Inconspicuous California Species Worth Noting

Endangered Species Day: 4 Inconspicuous California Species Worth Noting

Commentary: While other websites celebrating Endangered Species Day are concentrating on the big and dramatic, we thought we'd celebrate by mentioning a few species that aren't big and flashy and glamorous. They're beautiful, but they don't flaunt it.
Bridge Construction May Still Be Taking Toll on Swallows

Bridge Construction May Still Be Taking Toll on Swallows

Birds: In January, Caltrans agreed to use safer methods to exclude nesting swallows from a highway construction project in Sonoma County, but the alternative measures used may still be affecting wildlife populations in the long term.
Oakland Heron Tragedy Underscores Need to Pay Attention To What You're Doing

Oakland Heron Tragedy Underscores Need to Pay Attention To What You're Doing

Commentary: A grisly blunder Saturday by a tree-trimming crew in Oakland resulted in the deaths of black-crowned night heron chicks, and though the culprits are saying they didn't mean to cause any harm, I'm not buying it.
California's Next Generation of Birds Needs Protection -- in Canada

California's Next Generation of Birds Needs Protection -- in Canada

Birds: Nearly half of California's birds migrate north each spring to forests that are under threat from climate change and development. A new report on what has been called "North America's bird nursery" says at least half of Canada's boreal...
Condor Territory Could Expand to California's North Coast

Condor Territory Could Expand to California's North Coast

Birds: a Native tribe that lives along the Klamath River in Northern California is collaborating with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to restore California condors to the North Coast.
Genetic Discovery in Golden Eagle May Have Implications For Wind Turbines

Genetic Discovery in Golden Eagle May Have Implications For Wind Turbines

Birds: For the first time ever scientists have charted the genome of the golden eagle, and what they've found may shoot down one proposed way of making wind turbines safer for the huge birds of prey.
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.
Feds Want More Public Comment On Protecting Rare Bird

Feds Want More Public Comment On Protecting Rare Bird

Birds: A striking bird that's been waiting more than 15 years for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to decide whether to list it under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) just got handed another minor delay. USFWS has announced that it's reopening public comment on its October, 2013 proposal to list western populations of the yellow-billed cuckoo as Threatened under ESA.
6 Cool Animals That Live Only in California

6 Cool Animals That Live Only in California

Guides: Our state has a lot of what ecologists call "endemic species," meaning species found in California and nowhere else. Here are some of the coolest ones.
Audubon Goes Into Emergency Mode to Save Bird Species Today

Audubon Goes Into Emergency Mode to Save Bird Species Today

Birds: As much as a sixth of the total population of an emblematic California bird species faces harm this week, and a prestigious group has gone into emergency mode to prevent a tragedy.
Group Files Suit Against Development in Burrowing Owl Habitat

Group Files Suit Against Development in Burrowing Owl Habitat

Birds: A big proposed residential-commercial development in the East San Francisco Bay city of Dublin just hit a speedbump: an environmental group has taken the city to court, saying that the development would hurt some of Alameda County's last remaining burrowing owls.
Better Protection Coming for Seabird in Santa Cruz Mountains

Better Protection Coming for Seabird in Santa Cruz Mountains

Birds: A diminutive seabird that gained national prominence during the "Timber Wars" of the 1990s will get a bit more stringent protection in Santa Cruz County as a result of a settlement between an environmental group and the California State Parks Department -- and Californians will get cleaner state parks in the process.
Bald Eagle Count Needs Volunteers

Bald Eagle Count Needs Volunteers

Birds: The U.S. Forest Service could use your help this weekend at its final bald eagle count of the winter in the San Bernardino and San Jacinto National Forests. And participants might just see some of the south state's breeding population of eagles that have recolonized the area in the last 10 years
Expert: There's a Problem With Fish and Wildlife's Enforcement of Bird Law

Expert: There's a Problem With Fish and Wildlife's Enforcement of Bird Law

Birds: There's a problem with the way the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service enforces one of the nation's oldest environmental laws, according to a new article in a leading East Coast law review journal.
Should California's Spotted Owl Be Protected? State Seeks Your Thoughts

Should California's Spotted Owl Be Protected? State Seeks Your Thoughts

Birds: Are you a Californian with something to say about the possibility of adding the Northern spotted owl to the state's Endangered Species list? The state's Department of Fish and Wildlife wants to hear from you.
Caltrans Agrees to Stop Using Bird-Killing Nets

Caltrans Agrees to Stop Using Bird-Killing Nets

Birds: California's transportation agency has agreed to stop using bird netting at its construction sites that ended up killing what may be hundreds of protected cliff swallows at a bridge construction project site in Sonoma County, and the agreement will influence how CalTrans conducts its projects elsewhere in the state.
New 15-Year Plan For Condor Refuges May Expand Public Access

New 15-Year Plan For Condor Refuges May Expand Public Access

Birds: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to open two Southern California condor refuges to the public.
Rim Fire Logging May Endanger Rare Woodpecker

Rim Fire Logging May Endanger Rare Woodpecker

Birds: A plan by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to allow "salvage" logging of almost 30,000 acres of forest burned in 2013's Rim Fire poses an unacceptable risk to a rare woodpecker that relies on habitat created by forest fires.
Rare Cuckoo Needs Greater Protection, Group Urges

Rare Cuckoo Needs Greater Protection, Group Urges

Birds: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to protect a vanishing California songbird by listing it under the Endangered Species Act, but a national bird protection group says that doesn't go far enough.
Views Vs. Vultures: Will Opposition to Safer Power Lines Endanger Condors?

Views Vs. Vultures: Will Opposition to Safer Power Lines Endanger Condors?

Birds: In June, an endangered California Condor became the fifth to die by electrocution after landing on a power line along the Big Sur coast. How to address this issue has become a contentious local issue.
A Tale of One Tiny Bird's Twisty Road to Protection

A Tale of One Tiny Bird's Twisty Road to Protection

Birds: Ever wonder whether biologists' constant renaming and reshuffling of organisms from one taxonomical pigeonhole to another has any actual importance in the real world? You could ask the wrentit. A tiny bird that lives in stands of chaparral along the California coast, the wrentit was just reassigned from one family of birds to another -- and as a result, it's now protected under one of America's oldest environmental laws: the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 (MBTA).
Mojave Desert Songbird Off Endangered Species List

Mojave Desert Songbird Off Endangered Species List

Birds: An threatened bird found only at a few mountains springs in the Mojave Desert may be removed from protection under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA), and both environmental groups and their traditional opponents are cheering the move.
Bird Species Found Near Mono Lake Declared Threatened

Bird Species Found Near Mono Lake Declared Threatened

Birds: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed granting the Mono Basin population of the greater sage grouse protection as a Threatened species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA), it announced Friday.
Feds, Kern County Look to Prevent More Condor Deaths

Feds, Kern County Look to Prevent More Condor Deaths

Birds: With two California condors found dead in firefighters' "dip tanks" west of Tehachapi in the past month, condor experts from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are working with the Kern County Fire Department to see if there's any way to prevent future mortalities.
Rare California Seabird Denied Federal Protection

Rare California Seabird Denied Federal Protection

Birds: A small seabird whose population has been declining for several years has been denied protection under the nation's landmark wildlife protection law. On Monday the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said it would not list the ashy storm-petrel under the Endangered Species Act.
Dead Condor Found in Tehachapis Had Rare Upbringing

Dead Condor Found in Tehachapis Had Rare Upbringing

Birds: There's an update on the condor that was found dead in a water tank in the Tehachapi Mountains last Wednesday, and it's sad news.