Bringing you stories about California's wildlife, the threats they face, and the value they bring us.
Reptiles
Study: Social Networking Could Make Relocated Desert Tortoises Sick

Study: Social Networking Could Make Relocated Desert Tortoises Sick

Reptiles: A new study suggests that moving desert tortoises into new locations may actually cause outbreaks of disease by changing what we might as well just succumb to the obvious clickbait temptation and call the reptiles' social networking habits.
Study: Grazing, Vehicles Bad For Desert Tortoises

Study: Grazing, Vehicles Bad For Desert Tortoises

Reptiles: A new study of desert tortoise populations in the western Mojave Desert shows that the reptiles fare better when they're protected from off-road vehicles and grazing livestock.
New Center for Tortoises Opens in Mojave Preserve

New Center for Tortoises Opens in Mojave Preserve

Reptiles: A first-of-its-kind center for studying the federally Threatened desert tortoise was formally donated to the Mojave National Preserve on Friday.
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Rattlesnakes Biting Californians More Than Usual in 2014

Rattlesnakes Biting Californians More Than Usual in 2014

Reptiles: 2014 is on track to be one of the worst years for rattlesnake bite in the last decade, according to figures provided by the California Poison Control System
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.
A New Species of Western Pond Turtle?

A New Species of Western Pond Turtle?

Reptiles: California's only native species of freshwater turtle may actually be two species, according to herpetologists who've just published new work on the animal's genetic makeup, with a possible third species south of the border.
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.
Channel Island Lizard Taken Off Threatened List

Channel Island Lizard Taken Off Threatened List

Reptiles: A small lizard found only on four islands off the southern California coast is being taken off the federal Threatened Species list.
Drones: Making Wildlife Fun Since 2013

Drones: Making Wildlife Fun Since 2013

Video: Two new videos out this week show how drones can actually help us learn about and appreciate California's wildlife.
Solar Plants May Make Deserts Too Hot For Tortoises

Solar Plants May Make Deserts Too Hot For Tortoises

Reptiles: Our attempts to cool the planet may make the desert too hot for tortoises, according to a leading biologist.
We Now Know a Bit More About What Makes California Native Turtles Sick

We Now Know a Bit More About What Makes California Native Turtles Sick

Reptiles: The western pond turtle, California's only native freshwater turtle, has been on the decline for decades, and biologists have been scrambling to find ways of making life better for the species. And a recent study fills in a scientific blank about the fetching reptile: we now know a bit more about what makes them sick. .
Joshua Tree Study Highlights Climate Threat to Desert Tortoise

Joshua Tree Study Highlights Climate Threat to Desert Tortoise

Reptiles: A 35-year study of desert tortoises in Joshua Tree National Park underscores something that most desert biologists already strongly suspected: climate change will likely be a big problem for the southernmost populations of the desert tortoise.
Nevada Officials Target Desert Tortoises

Nevada Officials Target Desert Tortoises

Commentary: Officials in Clark County Nevada, which derived $4.5 billion in income in 2012 by attracting tourists to resorts on bulldozed desert tortoise habitat, are complaining about having spent a little over a million dollars a year since 2001 to protect the threatened species.
Group Threatens Lawsuit Over Last Best Mojave Tortoise Habitat

Group Threatens Lawsuit Over Last Best Mojave Tortoise Habitat

Reptiles: Two proposed large solar projects in the Ivanpah Valley in California and Nevada will do serious damage to desert tortoise habitat. That's according to environmental group Defenders of Wildlife, which is getting ready to sue BLM and USFWS over threats to the tortoise.
Scientists Find New Lizard Population in L.A. Neighborhood

Scientists Find New Lizard Population in L.A. Neighborhood

Reptiles: The fact that California holds undiscovered populations of wildlife is no surprise.