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

Latest News Stories

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.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced a final revised Mitigation Policy that will guide its review of potential impacts of land and water development projects on America’s wildlife and their habitats. Through this policy, the Service will help others mitigate (avoid, minimize and compensate) for a project’s impacts to species and their habitats. This update of the Service’s longstanding Mitigation Policy, which has guided agency recommendations since 1981, will provide a broad and flexible framework to facilitate conservation that addresses the potential negative effects of development, while allowing economic activity to continue.
Michael Glenn has a knack for getting kids to dig in the dirt. It’s a character trait few possess in an era of on-demand television, cell phone games, and dwindling green spaces. He lives and works in one of the most heavily urbanized areas in the country, just 66 miles north of Los Angeles in southern California. A patchwork of agricultural fields, highways, and residential and commercial development, the coastal and inland cities of Ventura County are surrounded by the wilds of the Los Padres National Forest and Santa Monica Mountains, and within eyesight of the Channel Islands that rise up from the Pacific Ocean just a few miles off shore. This year, on his tenth anniversary with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Glenn was honored by the agency with the regional nomination for the Rachel Carson Sense of Wonder Award, which recognizes individuals who embody the storytelling legacy of Rachel Carson, who more than three decades ago inspired an entire generation to become stewards of our environment.
Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is celebrated each November across Mexico and the United States in remembrance of loved ones who have passed away and to celebrate the annual return of their spirits to Earth. During this same time of year, one of the world’s most recognizable species - the monarch butterfly - takes a 3,000 mile journey from Canada and the United States to the central highlands of Mexico. Some monarch butterflies migrate west of the Rocky Mountains to coastal California to spend the winter.
Bernice Curren School teachers and students in Oxnard, Calif., will team up with biologists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) to celebrate one of the most recognizable species of wildlife in all of America – the monarch butterfly. The monarch butterfly plays a significant role in the cultural tradition of Dia de los Muertos, an annual celebration honoring the memory of loved ones who have passed away. The Dia de los Muertos Monarch Butterfly Festival, hosted by Bernice Curren School, will be open to the public from 2:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Friday, October 28, 2016, and will feature children’s activities, food trucks, and music.
Condor Country, a new mobile game, allows players to experience what it’s like to save an endangered species, based on real-life conservation practices used by the California Condor Recovery Program. Released for Android and iOS devices on Tuesday, October 25, 2016, the game simulates the actual activities of zookeepers and field biologists who are on the frontlines to help save this federally endangered species from extinction. Gamers will have eggs to hatch, chicks to release into the wild, and a flock of condors to monitor for real health threats including lead poisoning. Developed through a collaboration of the Santa Barbara Zoo, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), and Cerberus Interactive, Condor Country is free to download for both Android and IOS; visit for more information.
Bird enthusiasts in California, Oregon, Washington, and Baja Mexico, are invited to join a West coast-wide effort to count California brown pelicans on Saturday, October 15, 2016 during the last four hours of daylight to help conservationists determine the health of the iconic species. Data collected from this survey will help scientists and researchers understand how threats to the species, like changes in weather patterns and prey availability, could impact pelican populations over the long term.
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Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office
US Fish and Wildlife Service
2493 Portola Road, Suite B
Ventura, California 93003