Pacific Southwest RegionCalifornia, Nevada and Klamath Basin
Salinas children restoring Monterey’s coastal dunes
Students and teachers from Santa Rita Elementary School join Return of the Natives staff at Monterey State Beach to plant native coastal dune plants and learn about the western snowy plover. Credit: Ashley Spratt/USFWS
Endangered Southern California fish saved after population threatened by fire
An unarmored threespine stickleback swims in new habitat after being released into a creek in the Angeles National Forest following an emergency rescue last year in response to a fire that threatened their habitat. Credit: Tim Hovey/CDFW
Bi-state sage grouse get new home on Earth Day
Juliana Masseloux and Mary Meyerpeter, U.S. Geological Survey biological science technicians, take measurements on a female bi-state greater sage-grouse in Bodie Hills, California, during the Parker Meadows translocation project. Credit: Dan Hottle/USFWS
Conservation partners restore school-owned ranch
The Circle J Norris Ranch enables local students to learn about habitat conservation. Gifted to the countty school district inthe early 2000s, the 620-acre ranch the ranch has become an outdoor classroom for students and partners working to conserve it. Credit: Courtesy of Michael Hansen/Windwalker Images
Wanted: More Delta smelt data
Enhanced Delta Smelt Monitoring Program helps fill the void. Fisheries technician Brynn Pearles records data from daily tows on the Delta in March 2017.
Credit: Steve Martarano/USFWS
Path to Safety: Wildlife crossings cut collisions nearly 80 percent
Thousands of motorists are involved in collisions involving animals each year. In addressing the problem, federal and state wildlife and transportation partners built Nevada's first wildlife overpass project. Credit: NDOW
Innovative program builds partnerships, provides wildlife habitat
After years of building forming relationships with each other, farmers and the Service work together to improve wildlife habitat on the California/Oregon border. Credit: Byrhonda Lyons/USFWS
Return of the Rescue-Reared Salamanders
Ellicott Slough National Wildlife Refuge manager Diane Kodama and her colleagues undertook a delicate, first-of-its-kind captive rearing of endangered Santa Cruz long-toed salamanders, helping them to survive California's historic drought. Credit: USFWS
Pacific Southwest Highlights
Heroes for wildlife and plants
Recovery Champions are U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff and their partners whose work is advancing the recovery of endangered and threatened species of plants and animals in the United States.
Congratulations to our 2016 Recovery Champions!
Western snowy plovers at Malibu Lagoon State Beach. For the first time in nearly 70 years, western snowy plovers are nesting on Los Angeles County beaches. Credit: Chris Dellith/USFWS
Rare, tiny shorebird nests on Los Angeles County beaches for first time in nearly 70 years
For the first time in nearly 70 years, western snowy plovers are nesting on Los Angeles County beaches.
The first nest was found on April 18 on Santa Monica State Beach, followed by discovery of a nest on Dockweiler State Beach on April 27, and two nests on Malibu Lagoon State Beach on April 28 and May 4. The nests were discovered by monitors with Los Angeles Audubon and The Bay Foundation.
The rare Casey’s June beetle spends a majority of its life underground, only merging briefly in the spring to mate. Biologists Noelle Ronan and Chris Gregory have set out on a quest to research its population size and natural history. Credit: Joanna Gilkeson/USFWS.
Biologists, beetles and black lights
The Casey’s June beetle lives in and near a 3.5 mile stretch of the Palm Canyon Wash in Palm Springs, Calif., and nowhere else on earth. A secretive, slightly fuzzy insect that spends almost all of its life underground, the beetle was listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act in 2011, due to a loss of 96 percent of its habitat.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists Noelle Ronan and Chris Gregory have set out on a quest to research the population size and natural history of this beetle, which Noelle describes as “fascinating and pretty cool.”
Federal, state, and local agencies break ground on the University of California, Santa Barbara North Campus Open Space restoration project. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service grant programs contributed $3.5 million to the project to support land acquisition and planning, design and restoration. Credit: Ashley Spratt/USFWS
Over $3 million in USFWS grants support community-focused coastal restoration project
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) and an array of conservation partners broke ground today in Goleta, California, officially marking the start of a planned ecological restoration of a former golf course.
The USFWS Endangered Species Recovery Land Acquisition Program granted the state of California and the university $500,000 toward acquisition of the property. An additional $3 million in matching funds from the Service’s National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grants Program was awarded to assist with land acquisition as well as planning, design and the restoration itself.
The Cassin’s auklet is vulnerable to changing weather conditions. With a breeding population on Farallon National Wildlife Refuge that had shrunk to a quarter of its 1970s numbers, staff from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had to account for this reality if the auklet's colony was to survive. Credit: Duncan Wright/USFWS
New nesting boxes help save seabird colony
By 8 a.m. on an unusually hot morning in May 2008, surface temperatures on Farallon National Wildlife Refuge, a rocky outcropping of small islands 30 miles off the coast of San Francisco, were already breaking records.
Cassin’s auklets, one of the species that make the islands a globally critical seabird breeding site, were dying in their nests.
Research biologists and refuge staff had augmented the auklets’ natural nests with man-made wooden ones to promote breeding for a population that had shrunk to a quarter of its 1970s numbers. Now, as temperatures climbed, they scrambled to shield nests from the heat and rescue as many of the dying birds as possible.
The Klamath Tribal Youth Program was established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to provide hands-on natural resource education to local tribal youth. Since then, more than 75 percent of its participants have pursued college degrees. Credit: USFWS
Making dreams come true: Klamath Tribal Youth Program turns dreams into reality
Growing up on the Yurok Reservation in northern California, Jaycee Owsley dreamed of becoming a marine biologist.
However unrealistic her goal might have been, an opportunity in high school completely changed her future. Owsley was accepted into the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Klamath Basin Tribal Youth Program.
Just five weeks into her studies, she knew exactly how to make her dream come true.
Biologist Chad Mellison, from the Reno Fish and Wildlife Office, deploys a tracking antenna in Indian Creek on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest in south central Nevada, using the same electronic tracking methods used in fish monitoring to observe the Columbia spotted frog. Credit: Jim Harvey/U.S. Forest Service
TAGGED: Nevada biologists use miniature fish technology to track Columbia spotted frogs
As most people know, catching frogs isn’t easy. Tracking and counting imperiled Columbia spotted frogs in their Nevada habitat usually requires a lot of patience. Volunteers devote a few days every year to hunt for this amphibian, painstakingly slogging through muddy creeks deep in the rugged outback of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest in the name of science
But for the last few years, biologists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service and the Nevada Department of Wildlife have complimented that delicate, by-hand monitoring process by adopting the same electronic tracking methods used in fish monitoring.
Celebrating the Service's women of science
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in California, Nevada and the Klamath Basin, recognizes the inspiring journeys and contributions of Service #Women In Science.
There are women in every capacity working the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Biologists, hydrologists, law enforcement, economists, forensic specialists, firefighters... the Service has an amazing diversity of women making history in science and wildlife conservation.
In addition, visit our Flickr album to meet more of our women scientists.
California's 2017 #Superbloom — A photo essay
The deserts of southern California erupted in an explosion of color during their annual inland display of wildflowers recently. A popular destination for tourists, locals, photographers and wildlife viewers, the area has experienced a surge in visitation since the blooming began. Joanna Gilkeson, of the Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, joined the thousands of visitors in the desert and shared this photo essay.
“We documented this year’s super bloom because we believe in sharing the beauty of open space, providing refuge to our plants and wildlife,” she said.
IN HER OWN WORDS: Service biologist Rachel Williams describes her work recording the locations of Eastern Sierra monarchs and their milkweed food sources. Credit: USFWS
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Tracking the eastern Sierra monarch butterfly
Like ducks and caribou, monarch butterflies migrate with the changing seasons. As the weather cools and plants begin to go dormant in the fall, monarchs fly to warmer areas to overwinter.
As a biologist in a remote part of California nestled between the Sierra Nevada Mountain range and the Great Basin desert, I have been working with other scientists and volunteers to try to learn more about the migration patterns of western monarchs.
Last summer, with the help of volunteers citizen scientists, we began recording locations of Eastern Sierra monarchs and their milkweed food sources.
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Find a Refuge or Hatchery
The Western Monarch
The Monarch Story...
The monarch butterfly is one of the most recognizable species of wildlife in all of America. They undertake one of the world's most remarkable and fascinating migrations, traveling thousands of miles over many generations from Mexico, across the United States, to Canada. Learn about their amazing journey and how you can help them.
California Condor Website
California Condor Recovery Program
The California Condor Recovery Program (Recovery Program) is a multi-entity effort, led by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to recover the endangered California condor. Cooperators include the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Arizona Game and Fish Department, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, San Diego Zoo Los Angeles Zoo, Oregon Zoo, Santa Barbara Zoo, Chapultepec Zoo, Peregrine Fund, and Ventana Wildlife Society, among others. Learn more here...
And see the condor nest cameras here!
FieldNotes showcases the activities, events and conservation work of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service here in the Pacific Southwest Region. The articles inside are written by our employees and reflect the efforts of the Service and our partners in conserving and preserving the unique natural resources here in California, Nevada and the Klamath Basin. After you've visited FieldNotes, follow us on these social media channels...