U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Pacific Southwest RegionCalifornia, Nevada and Klamath Basin

Pacific Southwest Highlights

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John Thompson, wildlife officer. Credit: USFWS

Monty Bengochia (right), from the Bishop Paiute Tribe, tells a story about pine nut collecting as Steve Nelson, a BLM sage grouse biologist, Grace Newell, Forest Tribal Liaison for the Humboldt-Toyaibe National Forest, Grace Dick from the Bridgeport, Calif., Indian Colony, and Bill Dunkelberger, Humboldt-Toyaibe National Forest supervisor, listen. Credit: Dan Hottle/USFWS

Finding Common Ground: Western Science Meets Indigenous Knowledge at Bi-State Sage Grouse Summit

Searching for common ground, Nevada and California state and federal land and wildlife management agencies met with local tribal members at the Bi-State Traditional Ecological Knowledge Summit, June 28-30 in Carson City, NV, to share stories and perspectives regarding management of the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment of the Greater Sage-Grouse.


Tribal members from several Paiute, Shoshone and Washoe tribes throughout the region where this species of sage grouse occurs met for two days with biologists and managers from the Service and the U.S. Forest Service’s Humboldt-Toyaibe and Inyo National Forests, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Nevada Department of Wildlife.

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Condor nest camera at Hopper Mountain NWR.

“It’s great knowing that I get to pursue my passion while raising awareness and funds for waterfowl and habitat conservation,” says Stacy Shen, 2016 national Junior Duck Stamp winning artist. Credit: USFWS

Young California Artists Shine in State, National Junior Duckstamp, Conservation Art Contests

“It was April Fool’s Day, so naturally my reaction was disbelief at first,” says 16-year-old Stacy Shen, describing her initial reaction to winning Best of Show in the California Junior Duck Stamp Art and Conservation Contest. Shen’s color pencil drawing of a pair of Ross’s geese was one of over 5,000 entries in the 2016 contest held earlier this spring at the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge.

However, winning in California was only the beginning for the Fremont, California, native. Shen’s artwork also was selected by a panel of judges to appear on the 2016-17 Federal Junior Duck Stamp, placing first among over 27,000 national entries.

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John Thompson, wildlife officer. Credit: USFWS

John Thompson, wildlife officer. Credit: USFWS

Federal Wildlife Officer Provides Counter-trafficking Training to Taiwanese Customs Officials

Federal wildlife officer John Thompson, from the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge Complex in California’s San Joaquin Valley, travelled to the Taipei Zoo in Taipei, Taiwan to serve as an instructor for the joint Counter Wildlife Trafficking workshop hosted there in May .

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Condor nest camera at Hopper Mountain NWR.

First recapture and health evaluation of condor AC-4 after being released from captivity five months ago. Credit: Susan Gilliland, PAS

After Nearly Six Months Flying Free, Condor AC-4 Completes Recapture Health Check

Condor AC-4 was released back into the wild on December 29th 2015, after spending most of his life as a very productive male in captivity at the San Diego Zoo. Five months later Condor AC-4 had his first recapture and health check at Bitter Creek NWR. Refuge staff and the Pasadena Audubon (PAS) Young Birders that also attended that day, were excited, but also tense, wondering what the bird's lead level would be.

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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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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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