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

Latest News Stories

September 30, 2020
Meet one of our newest biologists Sarah Termondt! Sarah discusses how she discovered her passion for biology and the incredible work she has done both domestically and abroad. Learn more in our latest Faces of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service interview.
September 30, 2020
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to downlist beach layia from endangered to threatened under the Endangered Species Act. This proposed downlisting is based on the best available scientific and commercial information, which indicates that the species no longer meets the definition of endangered.
September 23, 2020
As the Dolan Fire sweeps through portions of Big Sur along the central California coast, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with the Ventana Wildlife Society and Pinnacles National Park to monitor the status of these critically endangered birds.
September 21, 2020
Now more than ever, it is important that we take time to focus on the things that bring us joy, whether that’s cooking our favorite dish, spending time outdoors, or channeling our inner-artist! Join us as staff from the Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office share their passions in a new video series called “What’s Your Passion?” We hope that these videos will inspire you to explore your own passions and share them with us!
September 15, 2020
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has completed its review of a petition to remove Endangered Species Act (ESA) protection from the western distinct population segment (DPS) of the yellow-billed cuckoo. After thoroughly reviewing the best available scientific and commercial information, the Service finds that delisting the yellow-billed cuckoo is not warranted at this time and consequently, the DPS will remain listed as Endangered Species Act (ESA) protection from threatened under the ESA.
September 15, 2020
Meet our new administrative officer Dan Hurth! Dan discusses his passion for the oceans and how a desire to protect our coasts led him to career with the Fish and Wildlife Service. Learn more in our latest Faces of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service interview.
September 9, 2020
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeks public comment on a draft Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) and Categorical Exclusion (CatEx) for the City of Santa Cruz Operation and Maintenance project. The draft plans include measures to mitigate and minimize impacts on the federally listed Mount Hermon June beetle, Ohlone tiger beetle, California red-legged frog, tidewater goby, robust spineflower, Santa Cruz tarplant, and Ben Lomond spineflower.
August 28, 2020
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with land managers and fire response agencies across California to monitor potential impacts of wildland fires on rare wildlife and plants.
July 31, 2020
In a way that truly embodies the spirit of Californians who banded together to pass the Coastal Act 44 years ago, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California Coastal Commission and the community of Lompoc came together this year to amend a closure policy to provide increased beach access to their closest beach, Surf Beach in Santa Barbara County.
July 29, 2020
We'd 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 our new public affairs specialist Olivia Beitelspacher.
July 23, 2020
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes to reclassify the Morro shoulderband snail (Helminthoglypta walkeriana) from an endangered to a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, and proposes a 4(d) rule for the tailored conservation of the species. “The proposed reclassification is based upon the Service’s evaluation of the best available science, which indicates a reduction in threats and that the species’ population numbers have improved to the point that it is not currently in danger of extinction,“ said Cat Darst, Assistant Field Supervisor with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Ventura.
July 14, 2020
Meet the women of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Ventura, California. Every year, 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’ll hear what inspired these women to pursue careers in conservation, and what advice they have for young women today.
June 29, 2020
The rolling hills of the Santa Barbara backcountry offer a pristine backdrop of undeveloped, contiguous lands that provide safe haven for wildlife and a way of life for generations of Californians. From orchards and vineyards to cattle ranches and preserved open spaces, these lands make Santa Barbara County one of the most picturesque and serene places on Earth.
June 22, 2020
Meet one of our newest fish and wildlife biologists, David Sherer! David recently completed his master’s degree in biology at the University of Central Florida with a thesis in the ecology and behavior of Florida scrub-jays, a federally threatened bird. He served as a Directorate Resource Assistants Fellow (DFP) with the Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge in Eagle Lake, Texas, before joining the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Ventura this spring. Learn about his projects and research in our latest Faces of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service interview.
June 19, 2020
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeks public comment on a draft habitat conservation plan and associated draft categorical exclusion for the 12 Rancho San Carlos (Ocho West) project in Monterey County, California. The draft plan outlines strategies to avoid, minimize and mitigate impacts to the federally threatened California tiger salamander and federally threatened California red-legged frog.
June 18, 2020
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeks public comment on a draft habitat conservation plan (HCP) and environmental assessment for operation and maintenance of existing Southern California Gas Company pipelines in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, and San Bernardino counties.
June 16, 2020
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeks public comment on a draft Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) and Categorical Exclusion (CatEx) for the Garrapata Tanks Project in Monterey County, California for activities described in an application for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. The ITP would authorize take of a listed species incidental to water tank stabilization activities on private property near Big Sur in Monterey County, California.
June 16, 2020
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeks public comment on a draft Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) and Categorical Exclusion (CatEx) for the Singh Parcel Project in San Luis Obispo County, California for activities described in an application for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. The applicant has applied for a permit for incidental take of the Morro shoulderband snail. The take would occur in association with the construction of a single-family home and associated activities, such as vegetation removal, site grubbing, and grading for proposed development.
June 15, 2020
Meet one of our newest administrative assistants, Maria Carrillo. Maria keeps our ship sailing even through unpredictable winds. She shares her journey through federal employment, her conservation heroes, and, she even spills the beans on some of her hidden talents.
May 29, 2020
A small annual plant with bright yellow flowers once thought to be in danger of extinction is being found more commonly in the coast range in California’s San Benito, Monterey, and Fresno counties, prompting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to propose removing it from the Federal List of Threatened and Endangered Wildlife and Plants.
May 26, 2020
Santa Cruz, Calif. - The Ohlone tiger beetle, while small in size, is a ferocious predator “with jaws like the fangs of a saber tooth tiger” that is fighting to survive in the last remaining grassland habitats of Santa Cruz County. To help boost the population, scientists have spearheaded the first-ever translocation of adult tiger beetles in the world, with the help of local land managers and tiger beetle experts from across the country. The goal: a self-sustaining population of the rare beetles where they’ve been gone for more than a decade. Today, rotational livestock grazing, prescribed burns, non-native vegetation removal, and even mountain biking trails all play key roles in the survival of the Ohlone tiger beetle. Learn about this unique partnership to help save this beautiful predator.
May 22, 2020
Nipomo, Calif. - The Nipomo Mesa lupine is an endangered plant fighting to survive within a two-square mile range of the Guadalupe-Nipomo dunes – one of the last remaining coastal dunes habitats in California. Three women scientists - Kristie Scarazzo, Lindsey Roddick, and Lisa Stratton – are working together to save the endangered plant, and its habitat, from extinction. From collaborating with ranchers to combatting invasive veldt grass and testing cutting-edge propagation methods, these three women are championing not only the conservation of an endangered plant, but an enchanting dune ecosystem that exists nowhere else on Earth.
April 22, 2020
Santa Barbara, Calif.- The Refugio Beach Oil Spill Trustee Council (Trustees) for natural resources impacted by the May 19, 2015, oil spill near Santa Barbara have made publicly available a draft Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan for the Refugio Beach Oil Spill. The draft plan identifies projects that will help restore wildlife and habitats and compensate the public for lost recreation as a result of the spill.
April 9, 2020
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service invites public comment on a draft Conservation Plan, as well as the associated draft Categorical Exclusion (CatEx), for cultivation activities within and around Los Alamos in Santa Barbara County, California.
April 8, 2020
Efforts to stem the decline of monarch butterflies took a giant leap forward today with the completion of a historic agreement between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the University of Illinois-Chicago. The agreement encourages transportation and energy partners to participate in monarch conservation by providing and maintaining habitat on potentially millions of acres of rights-of-way and associated lands.
March 26, 2020
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is extending the public comment period on the draft environmental assessment (EA) and general conservation plan (GCP) for oil and gas activities in Santa Barbara County until May 6.
March 5, 2020
Conservation success stories from the people of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service who work to protect fish, wildlife, plants, and natural habitats of the central and Southern California coast
March 5, 2020
The draft GCP is a comprehensive strategy to promote the long-term conservation of three rare plant and animal species in Santa Barbara County while allowing the Service to work more efficiently and effectively with existing oil and gas operations and ensure project compliance under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Service will accept written comments during a 30-day public comment period from March 6 to April 6.
February 28, 2020
Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the availability of a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and Multiple Region Operations and Maintenance Habitat Conservation Plan (MRHCP) for the Pacific Gas and Electric Company in northern California.
February 26, 2020
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today released a revised version of the 2014 critical habitat proposal for the western distinct population segment (DPS) of yellow-billed cuckoo. The revised proposal would designate 493,665 acres of critical habitat across portions of Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico, Texas and Utah, a reduction of 56,184 acres from the 2014 proposal. The changes are the result of revisions made to the species’ conservation strategy and improved identification of areas determined to be essential to the conservation of the species, which is currently listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
February 25, 2020
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the availability of a draft Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) and associated draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for activities associated with an application for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. The ITP would authorize take of listed species incidental to construction of a residential development proposed by Oak Hills Estate, LLC (applicant). The applicant developed the draft HCP as part of their application for an ITP. The Service prepared a draft EA in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act to evaluate the potential effects to the natural and human environment resulting from issuing an ITP to the applicant. We invite public comment.
January 27, 2020
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeks public comment on a draft Stock Assessment Report for the Southern Sea Otter in California. Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (MMPA; 16 U.S.C. 1361et seq.), and its implementing regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 50 CFR 3part 18, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) regulates the taking; import; and, under certain conditions, possession; transportation; purchasing; selling; and offering for sale, purchase, or export, of marine mammals.
January 27, 2020
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeks public comment on draft Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs) and Categorical Exclusions (CatEx) for the Verizon Wireless Telecommunications Facility Expansion Project and Renovation of the County of Santa Cruz Juvenile Hall Project in Santa Cruz County, California.
November 12, 2019
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeks public comment on a draft habitat conservation plan and categorical exclusion for the South of Tioga Project in Monterey County. The draft plan includes measures to mitigate and minimize impacts to the federally threatened Monterey spineflower (Chorizanthe pungens var. pungens) and federally endangered Smith's blue butterfly (Euphilotes enoptes smithi) and Monterey gilia (Gilia tenuiflora ssp. arenaria). The Service will accept written comments until Monday, December 12, 2019.
November 1, 2019
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeks public comment on a draft habitat conservation plan and environmental impact statement for the former Fort Ord military base in Monterey County. The draft plan balances the need for local economic growth through residential, commercial and recreational development while ensuring the long-term survival of rare plants and animals and their habitat. The Service will accept written comments until Monday, December 16, 2019.
October 30, 2019
Anthony Prieto turned his life of gangs around in the late 1980s by taking up hunting. From there he became a non-lead hunting advocate for the recovery of the endangered California condor.
October 2, 2019
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeks public comment on a draft Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) that balances community development and wildfire protection with the conservation of rare plants and animals in San Luis Obispo County Los Osos community.
September 24, 2019
Southern sea otter numbers have declined off the coast of California since their most recent high in 2016. According to data just released by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the three-year average population index this year dropped to 2,962, 166 sea otters fewer than the 2018 survey.
September 11, 2019

A Directorate Resource Assistants Fellow shares how the program boosts budding biologists' careers and brings 'experiences of a lifetime.'

August 28, 2019

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and parnters are working to build nest platforms and improve habitat at the Carpinteria Salt Marsh Reserve.

August 22, 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.
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 11, 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.

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 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!
January 30, 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.
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, California 93003

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