U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Pacific Southwest RegionCalifornia, Nevada and Klamath Basin

Pacific Southwest Highlights

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Bat Week is an annual, international celebration of the role of bats in nature.

Celebrate Bat Week — October 24-31, 2016

Bat Week is an annual, international celebration of the role of bats in nature. It is planned and conducted by teams representating government agencies and non-governmental organizations from across the United States and Canada. Join us in celebrating bat week!

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Ben Wallace, executive director of the Contra Costa Resource Conservation District, inspects the finished project during a recent tour of the fish passage facility. Credit: Steve Martarano/USFWS

Pinole Creek Fish Passage Project May Be Easy To Miss, But Its Importance Isn’t

What the eye of the average I-80 traveler might not see, however, doesn’t hide the project’s impact. A wide range of planners worked through many obstacles to restore access to the upper reaches of Pinole Creek to assist the current population of threatened Central California Coast Steelhead.

The project, the biggest one ever undertaken by the Contra Costa Resource Conservation District (CCRCD), is designed to provide flow through the south culvert box and improve access to nearly seven miles of documented quality steelhead spawning and rearing habitat on the main stem of Pinole Creek.

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Island Fox from the captive breeding program

"The Big Foot," by Bay Area artist and scupltor Beverly Mayeri, features photos of California's endangered wildlife. Credit: Steve Martarano/USFWS

Artist’s 'Big Foot' Project Highlights Human Impact on California’s Species in Peril

Beverly Mayeri’s clay pieces were once described in a 2003 New York Times review as evoking “something rare in contemporary art – a richly complicated human presence.”

Now, 13 years later, the Mill Valley-based sculptor is still showing how that human presence is affecting us. California’s endangered wildlife is the inspiration behind Mayeri’s “The Big Foot,” a 68-inch tall photo collage of vulnerable species in California pasted onto a paper mache foot.

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John Thompson, wildlife officer. Credit: USFWS

A lagomorph is a species of rabbit, hare or pika. Scientifically, it’s in the order Lagomorpha – and California has nearly 10 percent of the world’s lagomorph species.
Credit: Tom Clicton/Flickr CC 4.0

San Joquin River National Wildlife Refuge Brush Rabbits Attract Experts From Across the Globe

More than 70 lagomorph scientists from 23 countries recently converged on the town of Turlock, in the middle of California’s Great Central Valley, for the 5th World Lagomorph Conference at the campus of California State University, Stanislaus.

What is a lagomorph? And why would the world’s lagomorph experts assemble in -- Turlock?

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Condor nest camera at Hopper Mountain NWR.

Alexjandro "Alex" Alegria, of Los Banos, California, walks across the stage to recieve his diploma from Humboldt State University in May 2016. He credits support he received from the San Luis NWR for helping complete his journey from being late for his first YCC orientation to wildlife biologist. Credit: USFWS

Against the Odds: Wildlife Refuge Inspired Los Banos Student to Become a Biologist

The first time I met Alejandro “Alex” Alegria, the 15-year-old high school freshman arrived late and sweaty to our Youth Conservation Corps crew orientation.

His brother had dropped him off at the front gate to our San Luis National Wildlife Refuge and drove away. Our management office was then located in Los Banos, California. So, Alex ran the five miles around to one of the tour routes looking for the office, eventually getting a ride 10-miles back to town, and managed to show up just 15 minutes late.

This was not the first or last time Alex overcame great odds to achieve a goal.

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Ridgways Rails

Ridgway's rail (Rallus obsoletus). Credit: Marshal Hedin/Flickr Creative Commons

Learning Secrets of the Bay: Endangered Ridgway's Rails Released Into South San Diego Bay Marshland

A team of biologists and volunteers released six endangered light-footed Ridgway’s rails on San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge last week.

The hen-sized birds were bred in captivity at the SeaWorld rail breeding facility and are about two months old. On Tuesday under a sunny sky, when San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge manager Brian Collins gave the command to open the carriers, the birds burst out, heading straight for the marsh as wildlife biologists, including those with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and others who helped raise them, cheered them on.

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Cache Creek, Yolo County--Photo Credit: Michal Venera,
Yolo Habitat Conservancy

Cache Creek, in Yolo County, California. Credit: Michal Venera, Yolo Habitat Conservancy

Santa Clara and Yolo Counties Get Big Financial Boost to Save Endangered Species

Northern California continues to benefit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund's Endangered Species Act grants. Nearly $3 million in funding will go to conservation efforts in Santa Clara and Yolo Counties.

Authorized under Section 6 of the Endangered Species Act, the fund enables states to work with private landowners, conservation groups, and other government agencies to develop projects that protect federally-listed species and their habitats. In some areas, it promotes access to outdoor recreation resources for present and future generations by providing funding to federal, state, and local governments to purchase land, water, and wetlands for the benefit of all Americans.

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Sacramento River Fish Screen

These diversion pipes will pump water from the Sacramento River to water users in eastern Yolo County. Credit: Jon Myatt/USFWS

New Fish Screen And Water Intake Facility Will Improve Fish Passage on the Sacramento River

Endangered salmon, steelhead and sturgeon will soon be safe from the deadly pull of water pumps on the Sacramento River in Yolo County now that a new diversion facility has finished construction.

A nearly century old water intake on the river north of Sacramento is being replaced, making way for a new intake and fish screen facility designed to protect threatened and endangered fish species while also providing improved water supply reliability for eastern Yolo County.

Located on the western bank of the Sacramento River immediately upstream from the Vietnam Veterans Bridge on Interstate-5, the intake facility is a collaborative effort between Reclamation District 2035 and the Woodland-Davis Clean Water Agency and its partners, including the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Reclamation.

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