Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 13, 2015

Joshua Tree Has An August Wildflower Bloom

NBC4 Southern California reports there is an August Wildflower bloom in Joshua Tree National Park due to the July rains. They report wildflower carpets of flowers near the White Tank Campground. See photos and article at Surprise Showing: Joshua Tree August Wildflowers | NBC Southern California.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 13, 2015

Glaciers Are Melting Faster Than Ever

University of Zurich News Release

Glaciers melt faster than ever

Glacier decline in the first decade of the 21st century has reached a historical record, since the onset of direct observations. Glacier melt is a global phenomenon and will continue even without further climate change. This is shown in the latest study by the World Glacier Monitoring Service under the lead of the University of Zurich, Switzerland.

The World Glacier Monitoring Service, domiciled at the University of Zurich, has compiled worldwide data on glacier changes for more than 120 years. Together with its National Correspondents in more than 30 countries, the international service just published a new comprehensive analysis of global glacier changes in the Journal of Glaciology. In this study, observations of the first decade of the 21st century (2001-2010) were compared to all available earlier data from in-situ, air-borne, and satellite-borne observations as well as to reconstructions from pictorial and written sources.

«The observed glaciers currently lose between half a metre and one metre of its ice thickness every year – this is two to three times more than the corresponding average of the 20th century», explains Michael Zemp, Director of the World Glacier Monitoring Service and lead author of the study. «Exact measurements of this ice loss are reported from a few hundred glaciers only. However, these results are qualitatively confirmed from field and satellite-based observations for tens of thousands of glaciers around the world.»

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 12, 2015

Wind Farms Lose Right To Kill Eagles

Audublog — news and notes from the Pacific Flyway reported

In a decision that has far-reaching implications for both bird conservation and wind energy, a U.S. District Court judge yesterday set aside a controversial rule that would allow operators of wind energy facilities to accidentally kill Golden Eagles and Bald Eagles for up to 30 years. The eagles are currently protected under federal statute, though wind energy companies can obtain a five-year permit. The industry pushed for the extension to give developers more “regulatory certainty.”

Read full story at: Judge halts 30-year permit to kill eagles at wind farms

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 12, 2015

New Protection For Rare Monkeyflower

News Release Center for Biological Diversity

More Than 5,000 Acres Protected for Rare Wildflower in Santa Barbara County

LOMPOC, Calif.— The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today protected 5,755 acres as critical habitat for the Vandenberg monkeyflower, a small, yellow wildflower found only in western Santa Barbara County, Calif. The designation will help ensure the survival of this flower, which was protected under the Endangered Species Act in 2014 under the terms of a settlement agreement with the Center for Biological Diversity.

Vandenberg monkeyflower
Photo courtesy USFWS. This photo is available for media use.

The Vandenberg monkeyflower (Diplacus vandenbergensis) is known to exist in just  nine locations, typically in open spaces on sandy soils between shrubs. Most of the designated critical habitat is on public land.

“Protecting the few remaining places where this rare and beautiful monkeyflower lives will give it a real shot at survival and recovery,” said Ileene Anderson, a senior scientist with the Center. “Protecting its habitat is the best way to prevent its extinction.”

The monkeyflower grows in sandy areas at low elevations near the coast in a region of western Santa Barbara County known as Burton Mesa, which lies between the Purisima Hills and the Santa Ynez River. The biggest threat to the monkeyflower is competition from invasive plants. It is also threatened by military activities, residential and commercial development, fire and climate change.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 11, 2015

Europe May Have Many More Butterfly Species

ScienceDaily reports

The DNA sequences of the 228 known butterfly species in the Iberian peninsula have been obtained by researchers who compared it to available data for Europe. Their study compiles 3500 genetic sequences of all the species, with their geographical distribution, and will be useful for the conservation of butterfly biodiversity. The DNA sequences obtained suggest that up to 28% of species could be totally new to science.

Read article at  Diversity of European butterflies could be seriously underestimated, DNA suggests — ScienceDaily.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 10, 2015

Blake Garden Photos 8/10/15

 

I went to Blake Garden in Kensington, CA to do flower photography. You can see my best results below. I did some birding while there as well and found a Mylitta Crescent butterfly.

 

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Click read more to see bird list

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 10, 2015

World Shorebirds Day 2015

September 6, 2015 is World Shorebirds Day.  You can take part by counting shorebirds in a local area during the weekend of September 4-6.  For information on how to take part in the count go to The Global Shorebird Counting Program.

Learn more about World Shorebirds day at World Shorebirds Day | Official Website of the World Shorebirds Day.

 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 9, 2015

Idaho To Not Kill Wolves

News release Defenders of Wildlife

Idaho Fish and Game Will Not Kill Wolves in Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness This Winter

Following court action, agency announces that it will not proceed with wolf control actions

OGDEN, Utah — The U.S. Forest Service notified Earthjustice today that no wolf-killing by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game will occur in the federally-protected Franck Church-River of No Return Wilderness during the winter of 2015-16.

Idaho’s wolf management plan for the Middle Fork zone in the heart of the River of No Return Wilderness authorizes the sustained killing of up to sixty percent of the resident wolves over multiple years in order to artificially inflate elk populations for the benefit of a small number of commercial outfitters and hunters. During the winter of 2013-2014, a state trapper killed nine wolves in the wilderness to further those plan objectives.

But in response to a lawsuit Earthjustice brought on behalf of long-time Idaho conservationist and wilderness advocate Ralph Maughan along with four conservation groups—Defenders of Wildlife, Western Watersheds Project, Wilderness Watch, and the Center for Biological Diversity—Idaho Fish and Game abruptly terminated its wolf killing activities and agreed to halt state wolf killing in the wilderness at least until November 1, 2015. Today’s notification—which Idaho and the Forest Service were required to provide to Earthjustice as the result of a commitment made to resolve the lawsuit—confirms that the wolves of the River of No Return will be safe from Idaho’s killing program for the 2015-16 winter as well.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 8, 2015

Birding Hayward Regional Shoreline 8-8-15

Today I went birding at the Hayward Regional Shoreline with the Audubon/ Academy of Science Master Birding Class. It is an excellent place to see shorebirds. The habitat is a tidal rocky shoreline, channels and bay and tidal . Plants included Coyotebush, Gumplant and Anise, which were all in bloom.

Today there many shorebirds, especially Marbled Godwits, Willets and Black-bellied Plovers, some of which were still showing breeding plumage. We saw 46 different species. Highlights for me included seeing a Ruddy Turnstone, Peregrine Falcon and immature Forster’s Tern.

Hayward Regional Shoreline

Hayward Regional Shoreline

To see the class’s bird list for today click read more

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 8, 2015

Mt. Saint Helens Wildflower Report 8/5/15

Pacific Northwest Wildflowers  has a new post of a plant and animal list for Boundary Trail#1 from Norway Pass Trailhead to One Mile East of Mount Margaret at Mt. Saint Helens National Monument for August 5 at Wildflower Bloom for Boundary Trail #1.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 8, 2015

California Bans Bobcat Trapping

KCET reported

The California Fish and Game Commission voted 3-2 Wednesday to ban bobcat trapping everywhere in California. The vote, which took place at the Commission’s regular meeting in Fortuna, caps a controversy that started when a Joshua Tree resident found traps illegally placed on his land less than a mile from the National Park.

Concern over the threat to bobcats in Joshua Tree and elsewhere in the state prompted the California Legislature to pass AB1213, the Bobcat Protection Act of 2013, which directed the Fish and Game Commission to establish trapping-free buffer zones around national parks, wildlife preserves, and other areas where trapping is already prohibited.

Read full story at California Bans Bobcat Trapping in 3-2 Vote | Hunting | Rewild | KCET.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 7, 2015

UC Berkeley Botanical Garden Photos

Photos from today at the UC-Berkeley Botanical Garden

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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 7, 2015

Mt. Rainier National Park Wildflowers 8/7/15

Mt. Rainier National Park reports currently blooming  on August 7, 2015:

It is very dry in the park right now, but a few late season wildflowers are hanging in there. One common late blooming wildflower is Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea). Growing in clumps from spreading rootstock, this plant has narrow dark green leaves with white, woolly undersides. The pearly white “flowers” are actually a type of bract, or modified leaf, while the true flower is a dark yellow disc tucked among the white petal-like bracts. The bracts are papery in texture and retain their color and shape until the first snows, giving the appearance that this flower is “everlasting”.

Wildflower Reports

  • Sunrise: (8/6) pearly everlasting, yarrow, few paintbrush, pasqueflower seedheads, cascade asters (late), mountain bog gentians
  • SR410/SR123 (8/6): pearly everlasting, fireweed (late), common st. johnswort
  • Paradise: (7/29) fireweed, pearly everlasting, corn lily/false hellebore, cascade aster, yarrow, paintbrush, sitka mountain ash berries
  • Longmire: (7/23) yarrow, foamflower, wall lettuce, rattlesnake plantain, water parsley

See photos at Mt. Rainier National Park.

 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 7, 2015

San Juan Nat. Forest Wildflowers 8/6/15

Kit Frost reports

I’m pleasantly surprised at the varied display of wildflowers currently in peak bloom in the San Juan National Forest.

See photos at Chase the Light Photography Adventures.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 7, 2015

California Has A New State Lichen

Reprinted from the California Lichen Society

Introducing Lace Lichen as the California State Lichen

On July 15, 2015, Governor Brown signed into law AB 1528, a bill designating lace lichen (Ramalina menziesii) as the State Lichen of California!  The law will take effect on January 1, 2016. California is the first state to have a state lichen.

CALS would like to thank everyone who worked on this campaign including CALS organizers, members of the lichenological community who wrote letters of support, and Assemblymember Marc Levine who sponsored the bill.  CALS is working hard to use this opportunity to further its mission: to promote the appreciation, conservation, and study of California lichens.

Lace lichen is an ideal lichen for the state lichen of California because:

  • It is easy to recognize even by those not very well acquainted with lichens,
  • It is common throughout much of California and grows from the northern to the southern borders of the state and as far as 130 miles inland from the coast, and
  • It is a strikingly beautiful lichen.

Read More…

News Release WildEarth Guardians

Wildlife Services’ Wildlife Killing Program Dealt Blow By Federal Appeals Court

Ninth Circuit Rules Program Can’t Hide Behind 20 Year Old Analysis

San Francisco — Today, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Wildlife Services’, the federal wildlife killing program, reliance on a twenty year old analysis, which itself relies on forty year old science, is not immune from environmental review. The court held conservationists are injured by the program’s wildlife killing activities and can challenge them in court.

“For decades Wildlife Services has operated in the shadows as though it were above the law,” said Bethany Cotton, wildlife program director for WildEarth Guardians. “It is high time the true environmental costs of this rogue program’s cruel wildlife killing activities are exposed.”

In 2014, Wildlife Services killed over two million native animals using taxpayer dollars. The program, under the auspices of the Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), uses a variety of cruel and inhumane tactics to kill wildlife including trapping, aerial gunning and poisoning. Many of these methods cannot discriminate amongst species; meaning non-target animals are at serious risk. Both non-target wildlife species and domestic companion animals have fallen victim to Wildlife Services’ devices.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 5, 2015

Australian Bird Uses Language

The Independent reports that the

Chestnut-crowned babbler: Australian bird becomes first known non-human species to communicate using language

A small gregarious bird that lives in the Australian outback has been found to communicatewith one another using a simple form of language – the first species other than humans known to do so.

Read full story at: Chestnut-crowned babbler: Australian bird becomes first known non-human species to communicate using language – Science – News – The Independent

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 4, 2015

Cache Creek Natural Area Closed Due To Rocky Fire

California Department of Fish and Wildlife reports

Cache Creek Natural Area Closed Due to Rocky Fire

The Cache Creek Natural Area is closed to all public use and access until further notice due to the Rocky Fire burning in Lake, Yolo and Colusa counties. This closure affects state lands managed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), including the Cache Creek Wildlife Area, and public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), including the Cache Creek Wilderness Area within the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument. Additional closures are in effect at the Knoxville Wildlife Area managed by CDFW and the Knoxville Recreation Area managed by BLM.

Road closures are also in effect. The Highway 20 corridor is closed from Highway 53 to Highway 16, both directions of Ogulin County Road, and Highway 16 is closed from Highway 20 to County Road 41. Jerusalem Valley Road is closed to all traffic at Spruce Grove Road. CAL FIRE is urging motorists to stay vigilant and adhere to frequently changing evacuations and road closures. Due to significant fire activity, it is unknown when the areas will be safe to reopen.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 4, 2015

Henry Coe Wildflower Update 8/4/15

Henry Coe State Park has a new wildflower bloom report  for August 4 at the Pine Ridge Association website with photos and a list of flowers now in bloom at: Henry W. Coe – Wildflower Guide.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 4, 2015

Lassen National Park Wildflowers 8/3/15

Where to photograph in California – Yahoo Groups has the following report for Lassen National Park

There are  plenty of flowers blooming over the weekend in Lassen NP near the Summit along the park road.  They look to be about at peak bloom right now combined with the clouds and smoke from the forest fires sunsets around there are very beautiful.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 4, 2015

Climate Change Killed Off Woolly Mammoths

A new study confirms previous research that it was climate change that killed off Woolly Mammoth. Read more at Climate change drove sloths, mammoths to extinction, say scientists (+video) – CSMonitor.com.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 3, 2015

Regional Parks Botanic Garden Photos

Photos from the Regional Parks California Native Plants Botanic Garden in Tilden Park in Berkeley on August 2, 2015. Still plenty of flowers in bloom as well as some early season berries and fruits. Also bird and butterfly activity.

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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 3, 2015

Edgewood Park August Wildflowers

Friends of Edgewood Park have updated its website to show what plants are typically blooming in Agust. There are  photos of plants you might see. Explore plant locations, plant species, which plant blooms when, and answers to a host of other questions at What’s Blooming This Month.

 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 3, 2015

Butterflies Provide Clues On Improving Solar Panels

ScienceDaily reports

The humble butterfly could hold the key to unlocking new techniques to make solar energy cheaper and more efficient, pioneering new research has shown. By mimicking the v-shaped posture adopted by Cabbage White butterflies to heat up their flight muscles before take-off, the amount of power produced by solar panels can increase by almost 50 per cent, scientists say.

Read more at  Butterflies heat up the field of solar research — ScienceDaily.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 2, 2015

Berkeley Rose Garden Photos

Photos from an unplanned stop at the Berkeley Rose Garden yesterday. We were surprised how many flowers were still in bloom.

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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 2, 2015

Reintroduced Channel Islands Eagles Thriving

ScienceDaily reports

Reintroducing a species into an area where it has vanished can be a great tool for conservation, but for reintroduction to be successful it’s crucial to understand how the habitat has changed in the interim. A recent study examined the diet of reintroduced Bald Eagles in California’s Channel Islands and compared it to the diet of the historical population, and the results show evidence of a healthy ecosystem bolstered by recent seabird conservation efforts.

Read full story at Reintroduced Channel Islands eagles thrive on a diet of seabirds and fish — ScienceDaily

 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 1, 2015

Citizen Science Documents Changes In UK Orchid Bloom

The BBC reported on a UK  citizen science project that studies when and where orchids bloom around the UK. It has already revealed 200 new flowering locations for particular species.

The project will eventually compare the data from this year’s field work with the historical orchid records from the Natural History Museum’s herbarium.

A preliminary look at the data has already suggested that two orchids which bloom early in the season, early-purple and green-wing, flowered on average at least 10 days earlier this year than in the museum’s records.

Read full story at  Orchid spotters map shifting blooms – BBC News.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 31, 2015

New List Of All Plants In Marin County

The Marin county chapter of the California Native Plant Society has published a list of all plants found in Marin County at MARIN TOTAL PLANTS  (All of the species known in Marin County).

The Marin CNPS also has Marin County lists of Ferns, Shrubs, Trees as well as lists for many wildflower hotspots in Marin at Marin County Plant Lists – CNPS Marin.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 31, 2015

CNPS Field Trips August 2015

Northern California Native Plant Society Chapter August Field Trips:

(check chapter websites for more information on trips and late trip listings)

Bristlecone (Mono, Inyo and NE Kern counties) http://bristleconecnps.org/index.php
August 8, Saturday, Bristlecone Chapter Field Trip: Mono Pass (north)

East Bay CNPS http://www.ebcnps.org/

Marin CNPS http://www.marin.edu/cnps/

Milo Baker (Sonoma county) http://milobaker.cnps.org/index.php/events/field-trips
August 22, 2015, Saturday, 10 a.m. – noon Pat Sesser’s Home Garden

Napa Valley http://www.napavalleycnps.org/

North Coast http://northcoastcnps.org
August 9, Sunday. Pine Ridge Prairies Day Hike.

Santa Clara Valley http://www.cnps-scv.org/
Sun-Thu  July 13th – 17th  Mt. Lassen Carcamp

Santa Cruz http://www.cruzcnps.org/field_trips.php

Yerba Buena (San Francisco/Northern San Mateo) http://www.cnps-yerbabuena.org/

If you are interested in information on other chapters go to: http://www.cnps.org/cnps/chapters/

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 30, 2015

Mt. Rainier National Park Wildflowers 7/30/15

Mt. Rainier National Park reports

Clashing colors are on display in the park right now, with fireweed competing with purple cascade aster and bright red Sitka mountain ash berries. Fireweed (Chamerion agustifolium) wildflowers are particularly easy to spot with bright magenta flowers waving on leafy stems up to 5 feet (1.5 m) tall. This plant has alternating, lance-shaped leaves and grows from spreading rootstock, forming thick clumps of plants. Common in the park, particularly in disturbed areas like roadsides, below 5,500 feet (1,676 m) elevation.

Wildflower Reports

  • Paradise: (7/29) fireweed, pearly everlasting, corn lily/false hellebore, cascade aster, yarrow, paintbrush, sitka mountain ash berries
  • Longmire: (7/23) yarrow, foamflower, wall lettuce, rattlesnake plantain, water parsley

See photos at Mt. Rainier National Park.

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