Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office
A Unit of the
Pacific Southwest Region
Ecological Services | California

Latest News Stories

August 2, 2019

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeks public comment on a draft General Conservation Plan and draft Categorical Exclusion for cultivation activities in Santa Barbara County, California.

June 12, 2019
We like to share the insider's scoop about the people who carry out the important work of protecting and conserving fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats along the central and Southern California coast. Meet one of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Directorate Resource Assistants Fellows, Andrew Dennhardt.
June 5, 2019
People from across the world can get up-close-and-personal with an endangered California condor chick in real-time through live streaming video of a cliff-side nest on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge.
May 29, 2019
Nine Santa Barbara Zoo employees received the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2018 Recovery Champion Award today. The award recognizes their collective work to advance the recovery of endangered and threatened species along the California coast.
April 29, 2019
In December 2017, the largest wildfire in modern California history threatened the city of Ojai. The Thomas Fire ravaged communities in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, burning more than 280,000 acres. Miraculously, Ojai remained mostly unscathed, thanks to firefighters from across the West, including Service fire personnel. Just outside of town though, 1,500 out of 2,300 acres of Ojai Valley Land Conservancy’s open space was burned by the fire, including nearly 40 acres of newly planted oak trees, shrubs and grasses.
April 17, 2019
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeks public comment on a draft Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) and Categorical Exclusion for the East Clark Avenue Project in Santa Barbara County, California. The draft plan outlines strategies to avoid, minimize, and mitigate impacts to the federally endangered Santa Barbara County distinct population segment of the California tiger salamander resulting from activities necessary to develop lands and construction of structures and hardscape features.
April 10, 2019
Southern California rivers are not known for their abundance of water flow. Yet, when the rains do come, the rivers can swell in dramatic fashion. Attempts to tame inconstant rivers have resulted in channelized, dammed or leveed waterways that resemble concrete canals more than Instagram-worthy landscapes. But one wild river remains: the Santa Clara River.
March 28, 2019
A few hundred meters from the start of a trailhead on the western edge of the Santa Monica Mountains, Ken Niessen and Mark Elvin stop in their tracks. They are surveying areas impacted by wildfires in Southern California, and checking on rare plant species that live there. While they expect to see acres of charred earth and burned tree limbs just days after a recent wildfire that swept through Ventura and Los Angeles counties, it's what they see a few miles away that captures their undivided attention.
March 22, 2019
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeks public comment on draft Habitat Conservation Plans (HCP) for a Categorical Exclusion for the La Laguna Los Alamos Project, and the Phillips 66 Idle Pipeline Abandonment Project, both in Santa Barbara County, California. The draft plans outline strategies to avoid, minimize, and mitigate impacts to the federally threatened California tiger salamander (Santa Barbara County distinct population segment) from activities necessary for the installation and operation of a vineyard, and the removal and abandonment of an idled pipeline.
March 21, 2019
Meet the women of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Ventura, California. This Women's History Month, we honor the instrumental contributions of remarkable women to our ultimate mission: the conservation and protection of rare fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. In this video series, you will hear what inspired these women to pursue careers in conservation, and what advice they have for young women today.
March 14, 2019
The San Fernando Valley spineflower, once believed extinct, is now flourishing in the hills above the Santa Clarita Valley in Los Angeles County. Botanists planted seeds of the tiny buckwheat as part of a multi-year effort that kicked off this past December to re-establish the plant across its historic range. After abundant rainfall, those seedlings are now growing in the thousands across eight sites in the county.
March 13, 2019
We like to share the insider's scoop about the people who carry out the important work of protecting and conserving fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats along the central and Southern California coast. Meet one of our newest fish and wildlife biologists, Jennifer Strotman and her dog, Poppy!
December 14, 2018
Amid an ashy creek bed in the Simi Hills, rare frogs are fighting for survival following the Woolsey Fire, which swept across Ventura and Los Angeles Counties this November, prompting mass evacuations. While thousands of residents fled their homes, California red-legged frogs, a threatened species, hunkered down in creek bottoms, and waited.
December 10, 2018
As you turn the pages of our 2018 Year in Review, you will see inspirational conservation successes from the people of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and our partners who work to protect fish, wildlife, plants, and natural habitats of the central and Southern California coast. This year, we have many successes to celebrate.
November 16, 2018
Our thoughts continue to be with the communities impacted by the fires in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties in Southern California. We've received a few questions about how these fires are impacting rare plants and animals in our area. While it's still too early to fully understand long-term impacts, we do know that significant areas of habitat that support several rare species across the Santa Monica Mountains and surrounding areas have burned.
November 15, 2018
I feel fortunate to be affiliated with this agency while still keeping in touch with my military roots. I am proud of the work I get to do with the military, especially at Fort Hunter Liggett and Camp Roberts. I spent time at those bases for field exercises during my military service, and now I have the opportunity to see the area from a very different perspective, in terms of the wildlife these bases host.
November 15, 2018
Throughout my career, I always wanted to do more for the long-term conservation of natural resources and those strategic planning efforts; especially for the botanical resources within the California Floristic Province here because the flora is so unique and this region is a global plant biodiversity hotspot. No other government agency does more for natural resource conservation and it has always been my dream to work for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a botanist for this purpose.
November 6, 2018
Sixty-five miles northwest of Los Angeles, Naval Base Ventura County (comprised of operating facilities at Point Mugu, Port Hueneme, and San Nicolas Island) houses a diverse array of tactical aircraft from E-2 Hawkeyes to MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft Systems. But did you know that this Naval Base is also home to other rare aerial wonders from the secretive light-footed Ridgway’s rail to the California least tern?
October 5, 2018
Congressman Jimmy Panetta, California State Senator Bill Monning, State Assemblymember Mark Stone, and representatives from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, NOAA, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Elkhorn Slough Foundation gathered on October 5 at Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve's Hester Marsh to celebrate the designation of Elkhorn Slough as a Wetland of International Importance by the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands With this recognition, the Elkhorn Slough joins 38 other wetland sites in the United States — including the San Francisco Bay estuary - and more than 2,330 sites worldwide, in a network of globally important wetlands designated under the world's oldest international environmental treaty. The Convention was signed in Ramsar, Iran in 1971, and almost 90 percent of U.N. member states have since adopted the treaty.
September 25, 2018
Southern sea otter numbers have declined off the coast of California since peaking in 2016, but the average population count remains above 3,090 for the third consecutive year. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Southern Sea Otter Recovery Plan, the population average count would have to exceed 3,090 for three consecutive years for southern sea otters to be considered for delisting under the Endangered Species Act. Despite the recent dip in numbers, the population average count this year has reached this three-year threshold.
September 18, 2018
Less than a minute's drive from the outskirts of Watsonville, California, is a hidden gem: a small coastal farming community alive with flora and fauna known as Watsonville Slough Farm. It's 500-acres lies in the heart of one of California's largest coastal wetlands. Through thoughtful and strategic land management on the property the wetlands, and the wildlife, are thriving alongside fields of organic artichokes taller than the average human, lettuce, broccoli, other row crops and strawberries ripe for the picking. Yet the habitat did not always look that way.
July 16, 2018
Joonya Lopez steers his quiet, 22-foot electric boat carefully around the boat docks, coming up parallel to a group of a hundred or so harbor seals basking in rays of sunlight peeking through an overcast sky. The bank is teeming with wildlife, from pelicans and cormorants to gulls and other seabirds. It's a serene morning at Elkhorn Slough, one of the largest wetlands in the state of California.
June 13, 2018
Can a committed conservationist find happiness with a guy whose living focuses on the search for oil? Absolutely, provided the two share a core belief: that conservation and industry can go hand-in-hand - yes, just as they do. The Faiths - Nadya and Luke - can show you how it's done.
May 2, 2018
The San Fernando Valley spineflower, a tiny plant once believed extinct, has a promising future thanks to support from an unlikely source - a Southern California developer. That developer, FivePoint Holdings, LLC, is working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) as well as other agencies to ensure that a plant found only two places in the world will continue to grow in its native habitat.
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Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office
US Fish and Wildlife Service
2493 Portola Road, Suite B
Ventura, California 93003