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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes

CARLSBAD FWO:   Field Office Staff View Museum Specimens of Rare and Endangered Wildlife from 1930s

Region 8, May 4, 2011
Foreground: Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard. (USFWS) 
Foreground: Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard. (USFWS)  - Photo Credit: n/a
Four bird species labeled. (USFWS) 
Four bird species labeled. (USFWS)  - Photo Credit: n/a
Six mammal species on display. (USFWS)
Six mammal species on display. (USFWS) - Photo Credit: n/a

By Stephanie Weagley, Carlsbad FWO

More than 30 museum specimens of animals have been on display at the Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office (CFWO) for staff to get an up close and personal view of some of southern California’s federally listed species and State species of concern. On loan from six separately curated collections at The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, these specimens present a unique and rare opportunity for office personnel to view selected threatened and endangered animal species that we work to conserve and protect every day.

The specimens on display represent the federally listed crustaceans, insects, birds, mammals, fish, amphibians, and reptiles. Others represent closely related or otherwise rare taxa that occur within our office’s jurisdiction.

Some of these specimens were collected recently while many others were collected in the 1930s and 1940s and at least one from 1903.

A few examples of what are on display at CFWO include: tidewater goby, mountain yellow-legged frog, desert slender salamander, island night lizard, San Clemente sage sparrow, least Bell’s vireo, western snowy plover, San Bernardino kangaroo rat, Pacific pocket mouse, San Bernardino Mountains flying squirrel, Laguna Mountains skipper, Hermes copper butterfly, Malaga flower-loving fly, San Diego fairy shrimp, and vernal pool fairy shrimp.

In order to make the viewing experience even more meaningful, extra touches were devised. “Staff from the Carlsbad Listing and Recovery Team prepared information sheets to accompany the museum specimens so that everyone could learn about or be reminded of specific life history and distribution information for each of the animal specimens,” said Heidi Crowell, Division Chief of the Listing and Recovery Program.

The museum specimens on temporary loan are due to the coordination efforts of one of our botanists, Dr. Gary Wallace.  Dr. Gary Wallace is a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London, placing him among the global leaders of the natural sciences. For more than 200 years, the Society has played a central role in documenting and conserving the world’s diverse flora and fauna and is the world’s oldest active society devoted to natural history.

Dr. Wallace also devotes his time outside of work with various organizations that have included the Southern California Botanists, California Native Plant Society, and Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden.

Contact Info: Stephanie Weagley, 805-644-1766, stephanie_weagley@fws.gov