Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 6, 2021

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 21, 2021

Vaux’s Swifts Fly-in

Yesterday I accompanied Rusty Scalf who is monitoring the Vaux’ Swifts who roost in an unused Chimney in Marin County. Between approximately Aug. 15 and Oct. 15 Vaux’s Swifts migrate to their wintering area from central Mexico south through Central America. This chimney has become a stopover spot on their way south.

It is not uncommon for these swifts to use chimneys to roost at night, and once a population of swifts locates an appropriate chimney, they often return year after year. Groups of roosting swifts can range in size from just a few individuals to as many as 35,000 in some larger smokestacks. Yesterday Rusty counted approximately 15,800 going into the chimney.

See a video of some of the action at  Video of Vaux’s Swifts flying into Chimney

 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 21, 2021

Screening of “Don’t Feed the Coyotes” today at 4pm

Bay Nature Talks: Screening of don’t feed the coyotes Tuesday, September 21st, 4pm  virtual event

Register Today!

After a century of extirpation, coyotes returned to the green spaces of San Francisco in the early 2000s. Twenty years later, a thriving population of Canis latrans resides in the city’s parks and forests. The upcoming documentary don’t feed the coyotes observes several years in the intertwined lives of these urban animals. It centers around a three-year-old coyote, fondly named Scout, and her territorial challenger, the scientifically dubbed 15F. Chronicling their lives through two starkly different researchers observing them, it’s about humans, the natural world, and the lines we’ve drawn between the two. And of course, not feeding the coyotes.

Following the screening of the film, Bay Nature will host a Q&A with filmmaker Nick Stone Schearer alongside Bay Area self-taught naturalist, Janet Kessler, and wildlife ecologist with Presidio Trust, Jonathan Young.

This virtual event is open to all with a suggested (but not required) donation of $20.
This film will not be available on the Bay Nature website after the talk,
but when released this fall can be viewed at dontfeedthecoyotes.com.

Please be advised that this film contains a brief scene that might not be suitable for all audiences.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 21, 2021

September 22 is World Rhino Day

from the International Rhino Foundation

World Rhino Day is a day of awareness for all five rhino species and the work being done to save them. Since 2011, World Rhino Day has been celebrated internationally on September 22nd – this year is the 10th anniversary! On World Rhino Day, the International Rhino Foundation celebrates rhinos and all those around the world who care about them. Join us on Team Rhino as we ‘keep the five alive.’

While every day of the year is World Rhino Day to us, on September 22nd we’ll be celebrating with special rhino events including our annual State of the Rhino address. We also have a limited edition World Rhino Day t-shirt available through September 30th, and have created shareables to help you spread awareness about rhinos.

Read more and learn about events at : World Rhino Day | International Rhino Foundation

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 20, 2021

Kings Canyon National Park closures due to KNP Complex fire

The Fresno Bee  reports

Large portions of a second California national park have now been closed due to the KNP Complex Fire, with more closures expected to come.

The fire continues to burn uncontained inside Sequoia National Park and has grown to 23,743 acres in just over a week since it started. That national park remains closed with evacuations ordered for nearby communities.

Red more at Kings Canyon National Park closures due to KNP Complex fire | The Fresno Bee

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 20, 2021

Drought Tolerant Gardening w/ San Francisco Native Plants 9/25/21

Drought Tolerant Gardening w/ San Francisco Native Plants 9/25/21

September 25, SATURDAY @ 1pm
Speaker:  Susan Karasoff, Chapter Board Member
Zoom registration here 

This talk was previously scheduled in August. Water conservation is essential in the design and management of California drought tolerant landscapes. Matching water supply to plant needs leads to drought tolerant landscape choices.
Local San Francisco native plants are beautiful, drought tolerant, adapted to our varied soils and co-evolved with our local pollinators.
We’ll discuss what to plant in San Francisco that need minimal water, including shallow rooted plants that thrive in pots.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 20, 2021

Create your own County or Regional Flora!

CalFlora has a feature that allows you to  create a flora for your county or region of interest. Read how it works at Create your own County or Regional Flora!

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 19, 2021

Webinar – Biological Control in Urban Parks: Sept. 23rd

from the Xerces Society
Join Paola Olaya Arenas, a postdoctoral fellow at Institute Alexander von Humboldt, as she talks about her research on insect pests and natural enemies in Bogotá. Her work has parallels for encouraging beneficial insects in parks and gardens everywhere. Paola was one of our DeWind Award recipients in 2016 for her studies of the pesticide risk exposure of monarch butterflies inhabiting agricultural land in Indiana. She has since moved to work at the Institute Alexander von Humboldt, which focuses its research on biodiversity restoration and conservation in Colombia. Learn more about this event
Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 19, 2021

Which Milkweeds Help Monarchs and Which Don’t

from the National Wildlife Association

About ten years ago, a neighborhood friend of mine told me with great enthusiasm about her adventures raising monarch butterflies. I was intrigued. I followed her lead and went to a small plant nursery that didn’t use pesticides and bought my first milkweeds. Sure enough, I quickly encountered caterpillars! Unlike my friend, I did not bring the caterpillars inside to raise. Instead, I left them to survive in the confines of my backyard. As the first caterpillars grew and turned into eating machines, it was quickly evident; I needed more milkweed! Soon I was up to 50+ plants. That number would increase every year, as the number of hungry caterpillars increased to approximately 80 at a time!

Around year three, I noticed a disturbing trend among the newly hatched monarchs. Many were unhealthy, deformed, weak, and unable to fly. What was happening!?! I was distressed to see these sick and dying monarchs, and I wanted to know if I had done something that contributed to this unhealthy population. I started doing research, and my distress grew as I read about OE (Ophryocystis elektroscirrha), a debilitating protozoan parasite that infects monarchs. What I learned next stopped me in my tracks: one of the main reasons OE spreads in coastal areas is the predominant use of tropical milkweed, a non-native plant species that doesn’t naturally die back in the winter. Tropical milkweed (Asclepias curassavica) can also interfere with monarch migration and reproduction. What?!? But this plant is so easy to grow and maintain for a non-plant person like me! What are my alternatives? And what can I do with the plants I currently have?

Read more  From Backyard Monarch Enthusiast to Citizen/Community Scientist • The National Wildlife Federation Blog : The National Wildlife Federation Blog

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 18, 2021

Tesla Park: A Win for Wildlife

Golden Gate Audubon  reports

There are too few victories for wildlife these days, but East Bay conservationists and their legislative allies just managed to save 3,100 acres of unique habitat in the hills of southeastern Alameda County.

State lawmakers and Governor Newsom agreed last week to turn the property known as Tesla Park into a permanent state park rather than an off-road vehicle recreation area.

Read more at  Golden Gate Birder blog 09/15/2021

The Sacramento Bee reports

The Colony Fire and the Paradise Fire, two wildfires that together comprised the KNP Complex that’s burned for a week in Sequoia National Park, have merged into one fire and reached the edge of a historic grove of giant sequoia trees.

“The fire grew by about 6,000 acres (Friday).”

More than 400 firefighters are battling the wildfire, which is now estimated to encompass almost 18,000 acres.

Read full article at Update: KNP Complex fires merge, reach edge of Giant Forest in Sequoia National Park-Sacramento Bee

The New York Times reports

Firefighters are swaddling giant sequoias in a flame-retardant foil in an effort to protect the ancient trees from wildfires that are raging through national parks in California, officials said.

Three wildfires, named Colony, Paradise and Windy, were ignited by lightning on Sept. 9. Since then, they have scorched thousands of acres of steep terrain, bringing them to the foot of some of the world’s oldest and largest trees in the Giant Sequoia National Monument of the Sequoia National Forest, and in Kings Canyon National Park in Central California.

Read more at Sequoias Are Being Wrapped in Foil Blankets to Protect Against Wildfires – The New York Times

Center for Biological Diversity News Release

SAN FRANCISCO— An appeal by environmental groups forced the U.S. Bureau of Land Management late Tuesday to withdraw its decision allowing cattle grazing on public lands near California’s Mojave Desert. The area had been deemed permanently off limits to grazing under an earlier agreement to protect the federally threatened desert tortoise and other sensitive plants and animals.

“It’s shocking that we were forced to file an appeal to enforce a permanent retirement of grazing privileges,” said Ileene Anderson, a senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity. “The BLM was right to withdraw this unlawful decision. The plants and animals that depend on the fragile Mojave Desert for their survival need protection now more than ever.”

Read More…

The Guardian reports

A volunteer with the New York City Audubon found nearly 300 carcasses littering the sidewalks below the World Trade Center

Hundreds of birds migrating through New York City this week died after crashing into the city’s glass towers, a mass casualty event spotlighted by a New York City Audubon volunteer’s tweets showing the World Trade Center littered with bird carcasses.

This week’s avian death toll was particularly high, but bird strikes on Manhattan skyscrapers are a persistent problem that NYC Audubon has documented for years, said Kaitlyn Parkins, the group’s associate director of conservation and science.

Source: Read moreinto NYC glass towers | New York | The Guardian

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 17, 2021

Outcry over killing of almost 1,500 dolphins on Faroe Islands

The Guardian reports

Even the staunchest defenders of traditional whaling in the Faroe Islands have condemned the “cruel and unnecessary” massacre on Sunday of a superpod of nearly 1,500 dolphins, which were driven into shallow waters of the Skálabotnur beach on the island of Eysturoy and left writhing for hours before being killed.

The Sea Shepherd group, which has been campaigning to stop the traditional Faroese “Grind” hunt since the 1980s, has claimed Sunday’s hunt was “the largest single killing of dolphins or pilot whales in the islands’ history”, with more animals perishing than in an entire season at the infamous “Cove” at Taiji, Japan.

Read more at  Outcry over killing of almost 1,500 dolphins on Faroe Islands | Dolphins | The Guardian

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 16, 2021

Sequoia National Park Fire Update 9/16/21

from Kings Canyon & Sequoia National Parks
KNP Complex Update
Acres: 9,365 acres (based on infrared flight)
Percent Containment: 0%
Start Date: September 10, 2021
Cause: Lightning
Jurisdiction: Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park
Resources: 482 personnel including 4 crews, 11 engines, 2 water tenders, and 1 helicopter
The KNP Complex, ignited by lightning on the night of September 9, continues to grow in Sequoia National Park. The complex is comprised of the Paradise Fire and the Colony Fire. The Paradise Fire is currently measured at 7,352 acres, and the Colony Fire is currently measured at 2,013 acres, for a combined total for the KNP Complex of 9,365 acres, with 0% containment.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 16, 2021

Regional Parks Botanic Garden Photos 9/13/21

Photos from a visit to the Regional Parks Botanic Garden in Tilden Park in Berkeley on September 13, 2021

The Regional Parks Botanic Garden is a botanic garden of California native plants. 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

You  can see other photos from the Regional Parks Botanic Garden on the garden’s Flickr group page at Regional Parks Botanic Garden.

 

 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 16, 2021

Audubon Wins Lawsuit to Prevent Sand Mining on Protected Beaches

from Audubon

In a decisive victory for beaches and wetlands, the Department of the Interior has overturned a rule that weakened the Coastal Barrier Resources Act. The CBRA—a little-known, bipartisan law signed by President Reagan in 1982—helps keep our undeveloped beaches intact, where they provide a home for coastal birds and a buffer for nearby communities from rising seas. Read more
Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 15, 2021

Fires shut Sequoia National Park, could threaten huge trees

ABC reports

Sequoia National Park is shut down, its namesake gigantic trees potentially threatened by two forest fires burning in steep and dangerous terrain in California’s Sierra Nevada. Both fires were projected to advance in the direction of Giant Forest, home to more than 2,000 giant sequoias including the General Sherman Tree, which is the largest tree on Earth by volume.

Read more Fires shut Sequoia National Park, could threaten huge trees – ABC News

 

KTLA reports

All but five of California’s national forests will reopen on Wednesday after regional closures were put into place two weeks ago due to wildfires raging in the state, the U.S. Forest Service announced.

The forests will reopen to visitors at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, two days prior to the original end date, the agency said in a news release Tuesday.

The closures first went into effect on Aug. 31.Forest-wide closures will remain in place and be extended until midnight Sept. 22nd at Southern California locations, including Los Padres, Angeles, San Bernardino and Cleveland national forests.

Source: 4 SoCal national forests remain closed as most others in the state reopen Wednesday | KTLA

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 15, 2021

Record number of environmental activists murdered 

The BBC reports

A record number of activists working to protect the environment and land rights were murdered last year, according to a report by a campaign group.

227 people were killed around the world in 2020, the highest number recorded for a second consecutive year, the report from Global Witness said.

Read more at  Record number of environmental activists murdered – BBC News

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 14, 2021

Zoom Presentation on Purple Martins

from Golden Gate Audubon

Purple Martins in the Central Valley: Going, Going, Gone?

Thursday, September 16 7 p.m. via Zoom Free
Presented by Dan Airola

Join Golden Gate Audubon Society for a presentation on Purple Martins, which have been in long-term decline in California due to factors such as habitat loss, competition with the European Starling, disturbance from construction projects, and declines in their insect food supply due to neonicotinoid insecticide use.

To join this event on your computer or other device:

ZOOM LINK
https://us06web.zoom.us/j/87386587429?pwd=TjkzM0J0OXlGdmNER0U2S2lsS253UT09

Passcode: 713022

A video recording of this program will be available: See the Education/Past Speaker Series section of our web site a day or two after the event.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 14, 2021

Bay Nature Talks: Screening of don’t feed the coyotes

from Bay Nature

After a century of extirpation, coyotes returned to the green spaces of San Francisco in the early 2000s. Twenty years later, a thriving population of Canis latrans resides in the city’s parks and forests. The upcoming documentary don’t feed the coyotes observes several years in the intertwined lives of these urban animals. It centers around a three-year-old coyote, fondly named Scout, and her territorial challenger, the scientifically dubbed 15F. Chronicling their lives through two starkly different researchers observing them, it’s about humans, the natural world, and the lines we’ve drawn between the two. And of course, not feeding the coyotes.

Following the screening of the film, Bay Nature will host a Q&A with filmmaker Nick Stone Schearer alongside Bay Area self-taught naturalist, Janet Kessler, and wildlife ecologist with Presidio Trust, Jonathan Young. This virtual event is open to all with a suggested (but not required) donation of $20.

This film will not be available on the Bay Nature website after the talk, but when released this fall can be viewed at dontfeedthecoyotes.com.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 14, 2021

East Bay Regional Park Programs

from East Bay Regional Parks
click on program for details
Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 14, 2021

How To Help Monarch Butterflies

from the National Wildlife Association

Each fall, monarch butterflies embark on an epic migration to their wintering grounds along the California coast and mountains of Mexico.

Find out six ways you can support these intrepid butterflies on their fall journey.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 13, 2021

Fires burning in Sequoia National Park threaten world’s largest trees

The San Francisco Chronicle  reports

A pair of wildfires burning in Sequoia National Park were getting dangerously close to California’s famed Giant Forest on Monday, prompting concern about the fate of the world’s largest trees.

Read more Fires burning in Sequoia National Park threaten world’s largest trees

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 13, 2021

Migration Celebration Begins Today!

What was once a one-day mini-festival held in Ithaca, New York, is now the Cornell Lab’s biggest online event of the year. Join us September 13–24 for Migration Celebration 2021—two weeks of free live-streamed events and programs exploring migration from every angle. Enhance your enjoyment of this incredible time of year! See the full schedule.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 13, 2021

Drought and climate change shift tree disease in Sierra Nevada

from UC Berkeley Rausser College of Natural Resources

Even pathogens have their limits. When it gets too hot or too dry, some pathogens — like many living things — search for cooler, wetter and more hospitable climes. Ecologists have questioned if a warming, drying climate is connected to the spread of plant disease, but detecting a climate change fingerprint has been elusive.

A study from researchers at Rausser College of Natural Resources and the University of California, Davis, provides some of the first evidence that climate change and drought are shifting the range of infectious disease in forests suffering from white pine blister rust disease.

Read more Drought and climate change shift tree disease in Sierra Nevada | UC Berkeley Rausser College of Natural Resources

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 12, 2021

A New Global Coral Reef Atlas

from EarthSky

Researchers said this week they’ve used more than 2 million satellite images of Earth to complete a new comprehensive online map of the world’s coral reefs. The Allen Coral Atlas is named after late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. You can explore it here. The Atlas website said that it’ll “open new doors for targeted action” and “act as a reference for reef conservation.” Read more.

 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 11, 2021

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Fires Updated

From  Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks 

FIRE ACTIVITY UPDATE
**Correction: The Generals Highway between the Sequoia Entrance Station and Giant Forest is currently closed in both direction. Outgoing traffic will need to exit the parks via the Big Stump Entrance Station in Grant Grove.
The parks are aggressively suppressing the Cabin, Colony, and Paradise Fires. The Colony Fire grew from four acres to 72 acres overnight with zero percent containment. Paradise Fire is now approximately 32 acres in size with zero percent containment. The Cabin Fire has been largely contained at approximately 2 acres.
The Generals Highway is closed as of today at 1:00 p.m. to uphill traffic from the Sequoia Entrance Station to the Giant Forest Museum.
Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 11, 2021

Job Openings: Save the Bay

Save the Bay has the following job openings:

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