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

Latest News Stories

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today released a draft habitat conservation plan (HCP) for operation and maintenance activities related to the California Flats Solar Project, a solar energy facility in southeastern Monterey and northern San Luis Obispo Counties in California. The draft HCP outlines strategies to avoid, minimize, and mitigate impacts to the federally endangered San Joaquin kit fox and federally threatened California red-legged frog, California tiger salamander, and vernal pool fairy shrimp.
While Californians and visitors flock to the beaches this spring and summer, a much smaller resident will share the shoreline: the western snowy plover (Charadrius nivosus nivosus). The small birds, found along America's western coastline from Washington to Baja California, Mexico, are usually only six inches long and weigh up to two ounces. They have been federally protected as a threatened species since 1993.
This February, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service honored two conservation partners whose collaboration and innovation has supported the conservation of rare wildlife and brought awareness to the threats facing animals native to the southern and central California coast.
During the start of winter, monarchs west of the Rocky Mountain region begin their flight to the California coastline to roost amidst groves of eucalyptus, Monterey cypress and Monterey pine. The Pismo Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove is one of the largest overwintering sites for monarch butterflies in California. Hazel Rodriguez interviews U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Lara Drizd during the annual Western Monarch Butterfly Day celebration to learn why thousands of both butterflies and people flock here each winter, and how you can support the majestic monarch migration.
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. We'll be featuring profiles from members of our team over the coming months in a series we're calling Faces of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. We hope you enjoy reading our stories as much as we enjoy writing them!
The Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office invites you read and share our 2016 Year in Review, a compilation of 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.
On a rare rainy morning during winter break in Goleta, Calif., high school students from Fillmore Unified School District joined U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) biologists to study and admire overwintering Western monarch butterflies at the Ellwood Mesa Open Space Preserve. Nestled between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific coastline of Santa Barbara County, the site provides western monarch butterflies a winter home within a grove of eucalyptus trees.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) today released a final recovery plan to guide conservation efforts for the federally endangered California tiger salamander in Santa Barbara County. The final recovery plan lays out a strategy to recover the Santa Barbara County Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of the California tiger salamander by recommending actions to alleviate the primary threats impacting the species including habitat loss and destruction.
With a wingspan of only one inch, Smith’s blue butterflies are a challenge to spot with the naked eye. Despite their small size and rarity, the attractive bright blue coloring of the males and bright orange and brown coloring of the females never fails to catch the attention of senior fish and wildlife biologist Jake Martin. Martin works for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to help recover threatened and endangered wildlife, and has studied the butterfly for more than 10 years.
Last documented in 1986, the federally endangered Morro bay kangaroo rat has eluded biologists for more than three decades. While some in the conservation community believe this tiny native mammal may have gone the way of the dodo, two local biologists have reason to believe that a few isolated colonies may still exist in the remaining patches of coastal dune scrub along California’s central coast near Los Osos in San Luis Obispo County.
Ventura FWO Public Affairs Contacts
  • Ashley Spratt, Supervisory Public Affairs Officer, (805) 644-1766 ext. 369
  • Robyn Gerstenslager, Public Affairs Specialist, Media Relations, (805) 644-1766 ext. 311
  • Michael Glenn, Outreach Specialist, Schoolyard Habitat Programs, (805) 644-1766 ext. 328
  • Hazel Rodriguez, Information and Education Assistant, Diverse Communities, (805) 644-1766 ext. 320
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Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office
US Fish and Wildlife Service
2493 Portola Road, Suite B
Ventura, California 93003