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

Latest News Stories

On the first day of May, Jessica Nielsen peered silently through her binoculars as two western snowy plover chicks broke through their tiny egg shells just below the dunes of a sandy beach in southern California. It’s a sight Jessica has seen before as a Conservation Specialist for Coal Oil Point Reserve on the University of California campus in Santa Barbara, but it’s always a special moment. The two salt and pepper-colored chicks emerged from their shells and found comfort beside their mother.
Ventura – Nearly 200 citizen scientists and volunteers surveyed California brown pelicans at 179 locations in California, Oregon, and Baja Mexico on May 7 – this was a first of its kind effort to engage birding enthusiasts across the West coast in a bi-annual survey of this iconic Pacific coast seabird. A fall survey is planned for this October.
As summer approaches, the U.S. Army at former Fort Ord in Monterey County, California, is preparing for the 2016 prescribed burn season.  This requires coordination with many agencies, the local community, and cooperation from Mother Nature to meet a very specific burn prescription in order to conduct a safe, prescribed burn.  If that narrow prescription is met, and firefighting resources are available, the U.S. Army Fire Department will be prepared to quickly mobilize a team of personnel and equipment to get the job done.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designated the subspecies as federally endangered under the Endangered Species Act. With extinction an imminent threat, scientists, biologists, and natural resource managers across agencies and organizations rallied around a common mission to bring the island fox back from the brink on the northern Channel Islands.
For botanists, rediscovering a very rare plant in a location it had not been spotted for decades is cause for excitement. The Indian Knob mountainbalm is a shrubby plant in the borage family only known to exist within maritime chapparal communities in San Luis Obispo County along the central California coast. Biologists and botanists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, California State Parks, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, and California Native Plant Society, came together this spring to survey for several populations of the plant where they had not been seen in decades – in one location, since 1985.
Nearly 200 fourth graders from Sycamore Canyon School in Newbury Park, California took a pledge to respect and protect native wildlife in honor of Endangered Species Day on May 20, 2016. Their school is situated between a patchwork of natural and urban areas, from the Los Padres National Forest and the Santa Monica Mountains to the bustling communities neighboring Highway 101 in Ventura County. Here exists an increasingly common interface between native wildlife and people.
Ventura - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today recognized eight individuals from the National Park Service, The Nature Conservancy, and the Institute for Wildlife Studies as 2015 Recovery Champions for their exceptional efforts to conserve and protect three subspecies of fox on the northern Channel Islands, which are currently proposed for delisting under the Endangered Species Act. The Recovery Champion award honors partners for outstanding successes in recovering threatened and endangered wildlife across the nation.
Did you know? Saturday, May 14, 2016 is World Turtle Day, and we’re joining the Santa Barbara Zoo to talk turtles and tortoises. Join U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists Ray Bransfield and Judy Hohman to learn about the federally threatened desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii), and our work with partners to bring this beautiful animal back from the brink of extinction. The event will run from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at the Santa Barbara Zoo and will focus on the conservation of turtles and tortoises found locally and around the world. Activities include a turtle-themed scavenger hunt, turtle-themed train talks, turtle-themed photos, turtle encounters and keeper talks all day long.
Elementary and middle school students at Bernice Curren School in Oxnard, California celebrated their second planting day this season in their new Schoolyard Habitat, an outdoor classroom converted from a grass lawn to drought tolerant native plant garden. The new outdoors space will not only save water, but will also provide habitat for native wildlife, including pollinators like the Monarch butterfly.
Bird enthusiasts in California, Oregon, Washington, and Baja Mexico, are invited to survey California Brown Pelicans on May 7, 2016 from 5:00-7:00 PM to better understand the status of this popular yet troubled seabird. The survey protocol was designed by experts to capture a comprehensive snapshot of pelican abundance and age distribution. This information is needed to understand how potential threats from changes in weather patterns, to changes in prey availability, changes in habitat or contaminants, could impact California Brown 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