U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Pacific Southwest RegionCalifornia, Nevada and Klamath Basin

Pacific Southwest Highlights

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Ventura Girls Scout Team

THE TEAM: At the end of the day, the girls helped place five nest platforms out on base to encourage nesting of the federally endangered light-footed Ridgway's rail.
Credit: Mary Root/USFWS.

Young Women in Science Team Up with U.S. Navy, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Biologists to Help Endangered Ridgway’s rail in Ventura County

Troop members of the Girls Scouts of California’s Central Coast muddied up their first pair of waders this February to help create nesting habitat for an endangered marsh bird in coastal lagoons in Ventura County.

The girls and their parents joined biologists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Navy to launch hand-made nest platforms at the shallow lagoons at Point Mugu, California, to encourage nesting of the federally endangered light-footed Ridgway’s rail, a secretive marsh bird whose numbers have dwindled since the 1980s due to habitat loss along the southern California coast.

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Condor nest camera at Hopper Mountain NWR.

The most recent population estimate for the California Brown Pelican subspecies (Pelecanus occidentalis californicus) is roughly 70,680 breeding pairs, with the majority breeding in the Gulf of California.
Photo Credit: USFWS

Citizen Scientists, Partners and FWS to Document California Brown Pelicans, Shed Light on Population Declines

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is partnering with the Audubon Society and Cornell Lab of Ornithology to launch the first ever citizen science survey for California brown pelicans across the Pacific coast. The survey will take place during a two hour window from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. May 7, 2016 across more than 100 sites in Washington, Oregon, and California, and will help conservation professionals collect important data on the distribution and abundance of California brown pelicans across the Pacific coast, and track shifts in population structure.

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Condor nest camera at Hopper Mountain NWR.

Webcam view of Condor #111 and egg. Photo Credit: USFWS

HOPPER MOUNTAIN NWR: Watch California Condor Chick Hatch – Live!

For the first time in history, anyone with an internet connection can watch a California condor egg hatch in the wild. This live streaming video from a cliffside nest at Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge in Ventura County, California will capture the young condor's journey to adulthood.

Watch it here...

Story Photo

The "Redwood condors," Kingpin and Redwood Queen, nuzzle in a tree in Monterey County, Calif., at Big Sur in October 2015. Photo credit: Tim Huntington, Webnectar.com

The REDWOOD CONDORS: Ten Years Later

Ten years ago this month, a small group of biologists searched for a mated pair of California condors in the forested canyons of Monterey County, California. Using radio telemetry, satellite signals and a few days of bushwhacking through poison oak and stinging nettles, they tracked the tagged birds to a remote canyon.

At the time, condors had not been found nesting anywhere in coastal redwood forests and the last known condor nest in Monterey County, or anywhere else in Northern California, was recorded on April 12, 1905.

Today, the pair seems to have carved out a successful life in the coastal redwoods of Big Sur...

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Amargosa Vole

An Amargosa Vole at the University of California at Davis, being prepared for release. Photo Credit: Don Preisler, US Dave School of Veterinary medicine

CARSLBAD FWO: Amargosa Vole Gets Emergency Help at Tecopa Hot Springs, California

Found only in a few spring-fed marshes in the Mojave desert east of Death Valley National Park, the Amargosa vole was federally listed as endangered in 1980, due to loss and degradation of its habitat.

In 2014, the rangewide population of this species was fewer than 100 individuals. To prevent the possible extinction of this species, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, University of California, Davis, U.S. Geological Survey, Bureau of Land Management, and California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife partnered to capture 20 voles from marshes near Tecopa Hot Springs to serve as founders for a captive breeding colony.

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Aerial view of the restored Henderson Park

Adult red-tailed hawks are easily identified by the red upper surface of their tails. Drive down any roadway in the Valley and you are certain to see red-tailed hawks perched atop telephone poles, fence posts and trees. Photo Credit: Rick Lewis/USFWS

SAN LUIS NWRC: Winter Raptors Provide Amazing Wildlife Watching Opportunities on San Joaquin Valley Refuges

The Refuges of the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge Complex in the San Joaquin Valley of California protect more than 45,000 acres of wide-open grasslands and wetlands crisscrossed with riparian woodlands and dotted with lone cottonwood, willow, and oak trees. These landscapes are home to a diverse assortment of species of birds of prey or “raptors” throughout the year.

Eight raptor species reside on the refuges during the summer, but that number swells to nearly double when the food shortages of winter bring six other species down from the northern latitudes and higher elevations to take advantage of a robust food supply.

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Jerry Massini

Landowner Jerry Massini listens to questions from visitors touring his property where he and the Service have restored wetlands for migratory birds. Photo Credit: Jon Myatt/USFWS

KLAMATH BASIN REFUGES: Landowner's 'Labor of Love' Expands Habitat for Local Wildlife

Just off Highway 97, on Miller Island, three miles south of Klamath Falls, Oregon, the Klamath River spills out onto a valley floor. Farms and ranches spread out on either side of the highway, as bare fields and shallow ponds dotted with ducks and geese of all types, cover the basin all the way to the foothills and mountains beyond.

The ponds and wetlands serve as important resting and nesting places for millions of waterfowl migrating up and down the Pacific Flyway, and other wildlife. And some of these wetlands are the product of a unique partnership between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and local ranchers and farmers.

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