Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 2, 2019

September 7 is CA Biodiversity Day

from the California CNPS

September 7 is CA Biodiversity Day

There’s never been a more important time to celebrate and support California’s extraordinary biodiversity. Join us for a week of important discussions and activities. Here’s how:

  1. Live #BiodiversityChat, Sep 4 at 4 pm: CNPS is kicking off the party early with a Live Twitter Chat featuring Scott Black, Executive Director of the Xerces Society, and CNPS Executive Director Dan Gluesenkamp. Where: twitter.com/cnps.
  2. Secretary Crowfoot Speaker Series, Sep 5 at 12:30 pm: Dan Gluesenkamp of CNPS, Scott Loarie of iNaturalist, Briannon Fraley of Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation, and Erika Zavaleta of UC Santa Cruz will be present on California’s biodiversity challenge. Where: California Natural Resources Building, First Floor Auditorium in Sacramento. Can’t make it in person? The event will be live streamed at youtube.com/user/calwater. Learn more here.
  3. CNPS Conservation Symposium, Sep 7 at 8:30 am: The CNPS Conservation team leads a full day titled, “Preserving California’s Biodiversity on the Journey to a Carbon Neutral California.” See the agenda and register here. (Limited spots available.) Where: UC Santa Cruz Arboretum. Can’t make it? Follow along on twitter.com/cnps to see live presentation highlights.
  4. Biodiversity Day BioBlitzes, Saturday, Sep 7: Our friends at California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife and California State Parks are looking for volunteers to help lead Biodiveristy Day BioBlitzes using the iNaturalist app at the following locations: Yolo Bypass, Elkhorn Slough, Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve, Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve, Samuel P. Taylor State Park, and Mount Tamalpais State Park. If you’re interested in helping, please contact CDFW Biodiversity Coordinator Kimberly Tenggardaja at Kimberly.Tenggardjaja@Wildlife.ca.gov.
Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 1, 2019

Good News for Lake Tahoe – No Blue-Green Algae

The Mt. Democrat reports

The test results are in and they appear to give an “all clear” on the possible presence of toxic algae in Lake Tahoe.

Read story at : Test results in: No blue-green algae in samples taken at Lake Tahoe-The Mt. Democrat 

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 1, 2019

First Successful Brown Bobby Chick Off Santa Barbara Island

Channel Islands News Release

On August 24, 2019, seabird biologists with Channel Islands National Park and the California Institute for Environmental Studies confirmed the first record of a brown booby chick from an active nest on Sutil Rock off Santa Barbara Island.

This successful nest signifies a northward expansion of their known breeding range in the Gulf of California and along the Pacific coast of Mexico. The closest current breeding colony is located on the Coronado Islands off Northern Baja California, Mexico.

Brown boobies, once considered a rare visitor to the Channel Islands, were observed only 16 times in the 30 years between 1984 and 2014.  They were first seen roosting in small numbers on Anacapa and Santa Barbara Islands in 2013. There was a dramatic rise in their numbers in 2015 with over 170 individuals observed at Santa Barbara Island. Since that time, they have been seen consistently on both islands with fewer sightings occurring on Anacapa Island.

“Seabirds rely upon the rich marine resources and the isolation of these offshore islands to provide food and undisturbed nesting grounds safe from predators,” said Channel Islands National Park Superintendent Ethan McKinley. “With this successful brown booby nest, there are now 14 breeding seabirds that rely upon this vital habitat.”

Brown boobies, generally considered a tropical or subtropical bird, appear to have been extending their range northward since the 1990s when they first migrated to the Coronado Islands of Baja California from the Gulf of California and Pacific coast of Mexico. This expansion of their range coincides with shifts in oceanic conditions with warmer waters and changes in prey availability.

An impressive seabird species, brown boobies are known for making spectacular plunge dives from heights of up to 50 feet to feed on surface fish. They nest on islands, lay their eggs on the bare ground, and make nests with sticks, rocks, bones, and vegetation to protect them. They winter far out to sea.

Worldwide, brown booby populations have declined due to habitat degradation on islands where introduced predators have reduced their nesting success.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 31, 2019

 New England Fall Color 8/31/19

Live Fall Foliage Map – New England Today shows significant signs of fall color starting in Central New Hampshire and Western Massachusetts as some spots in Western Maine and other areas just starting.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 31, 2019

Mono County Fall Color 8/29/19

Fall Colors in Mono County – Mono County Tourism   reports below. See photos at: Fall Colors in Mono County – Mono County Tourism and Film Commission

August 29, 2019: Colors will start to change in about two weeks! Look for the traditional early achiever destinations like Upper Rock Creek, Sagehen Summit, Tioga Pass, Virginia Lakes and Sonora Pass to be the first to show up on this list! Get ready leaf peepers… Fall is just around the corner!

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 31, 2019

Santa Monica Mountains Wildflowers 8/30/19

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area has a new report

This has been a year when almost any hike you take in a wild place is going to give you a gratifying display of wildflowers. The popular media has frequently provided us all with dramatic flower reports and suggestions of where to see the more spectacular displays. Added to that is the drama and beauty of the recovering burned landscapes here in the Santa Monica Mountains. All in all this is a flower season not to be missed.

Zuma Canyon Zuma Canyon Trail 8/26
         This is a canyon that thoroughly burned in the Woolsey Fire last November. It remained closed until about a month ago. Summer is not its best time but I wanted to see it and took an early morning hike. The first look was not encouraging, everything looked dun colored and wide open, no shade trees in evidence. But as I started walking I was surprised to see quite a few flowers in bloom. There were not great masses of flowers, but a flower here and another there. There were the summer blooming elderberry, morning glory, cliff aster, cuddled aster, bush mallow and California buckwheat. There were the autumn blooming cudweed aster, California fuchsia, and coast golden bush. I saw leather root, a flower that I don’t commonly see. In the final eighth of a mile there was water in the creek, something I haven’t seen in years. Along the banks there was scarlet monkey flower in bloom.
Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 31, 2019

Mt. Rainier Wildflowers 8/30/19

Mt. Rainier National Park reports

Currently Blooming

Subalpine meadows in the park are transitioning from summer wildflowers to fall colors. Late season wildflowers like Cascade aster (Aster ledophyllus) are still blooming, but huckleberry shrubs are also starting to turn red. From butterflies seeking flower nectar to bears foraging for berries, wildlife in the park is working hard to gather energy before the season changes.
can be found throughout the park in wetter mid-to-subalpine elevations.

Wildflower Reports

  • Sunrise (8/27) – subalpine daisy, Cascade aster, bistort, gray’s lovage, subalpine lupine
  • Paradise (8/27) – bistort, arrowleaf groundsel, Cascade aster, pasqueflower seedhead, pearly everlasting, rosy spirea
  • Mowich Lake (8/21) – pearly everlasting, yarrow, Gray’s lovage, Cascade aster, sitka valerian, arnica, mountain bog gentian

See photos at Mount Rainier Flickr group!

P

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 31, 2019

CNPS Field Trips October 2019

September Field Trips:

(for more information on trips go to chapter websites; also check out late trip postings at chapter websites)

Bristlecone (Mono, Inyo and NE Kern counties) http://bristleconecnps.org/index.php

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

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

North Coast http://northcoastcnps.org

 

Santa Clara Valley http://www.cnps-scv.org/

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 | August 30, 2019

September 2019 Golden Gate Audubon Birding Field Trips

Golden Gate Audubon Society Field Trips

  • Salesforce Park, San Francisco Sunday, September 1, 8:00–10:00 a.m.
  • San Francisco Botanical Garden Sunday, September 1, 8:00–10:30 a.m.
  • Lafayette Community Park, Lafayette Sunday, September 1, 8:30–11:00 a.m.
  • Salesforce Park, San Francisco Tuesday, September 3, 7:30–8:30 a.m.
  • Tilden Nature Area, Tilden Regional Park, Berkeley Friday, September 6, 8:30–11:30 a.m.
  • UCSF Mt. Sutro Open Space Reserve, San Francisco Saturday September 7, 8:30–11:00 a.m.
  • Elsie Roemer Bird Sanctuary, Alameda (This is the first in a series of field trips highlighting conservation issues) Saturday, September 7, 10:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
  • Middle Harbor Shoreline Park, Oakland Sunday, September 8, 11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
  • Chain of Lakes, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco Sunday, September 8, 8:30–11:30 a.m.
  • Hilltop Lake Park, Richmond Wednesday, September 11, 9:00–10:45 a.m.
  • Second Friday Bird Walk someplace in the East Bay
    (time and place TBD) 
    Friday, September 13, time TBD
    Steve and Carol Lombardi, hotrock175@gmail.com, cell 925/785-0130
    On this “Lucky 13” second Friday walk, we’ll pick a spot depending on recent activity as fall migration progresses.
    Check Steve’s personal website starting Monday, September 9 for trip details: http://diablosteve.yolasite.com/second-friday-bird-walk.php
  • Heron’s Head Park: Birding, History, Conservation; San Francisco (This the second in a series of field trips highlighting conservation issues Saturday, September 14, 2:00–4:00 p.m. (due to tides)
  • Fort Mason Community Garden, San Francisco Sunday, September 15, 8:00–10:00 a.m.
  • Salesforce Park, San Francisco Tuesday, September 17, 7:30–8:30 a.m.
  • Vaux’s Swifts at McNear Brickyard, San Rafael Wednesday, September 18, 5:45 — 7:30 p.m.
  • Corona Heights, San Francisco Friday, September 20, 8:00 –10:00 a.m.
  • Arrowhead Marsh, MLK Jr. Regional Shoreline, Oakland Saturday, September 21, 8:00–11:00 a.m.
  • Valle Vista Staging Area, Upper San Leandro Reservoir, Moraga Saturday, September 21, 8:30–11:30 a.m.
  • Birding the Bay Trail by Bicycle Aquatic Park, Berkeley to Pt. Isabel, Richmond Sunday, September 22, 9:30 a.m.–about 2:00 p.m.
  • Lake Merritt and Lakeside Park, Oakland Wednesday, September 25, 9:30 a.m.–noon
  • Coyote Hills Regional Park, Fremont Sunday, September 29, 8:00 a.m.–noon

for more information on above walks go to Upcoming Field Trips | Golden Gate Audubon Society

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 29, 2019

Good News: Housing Development Rejected Near Joshua Tree

On August 21, the Riverside County Planning Commission voted against the Paradise Valley Project, a proposed 8,490 home development south of Joshua Tree National Park. The project would be disastrous for wildlife corridors, wildflower displays, and microphyll woodland habitat. Up next will be a final vote by the board of supervisors, which will hopefully put this project to bed, for good.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 29, 2019

E.P.A. to Roll Back Regulations on Methane, a Potent Greenhouse Gas

The New York Times reports

The Trump administration is set to announce on Thursday that it intends to sharply curtail the regulation of methane emissions, a major contributor to climate change, according to an industry official with knowledge of the plan.

Read story at E.P.A. to Roll Back Regulations on Methane, a Potent Greenhouse Gas – The New York Times

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 29, 2019

Global change is triggering an identity switch in grasslands

ScienceDaily reports

Scientists discover species turnover in study of more than 100 grassland experiments

Since the first Homo sapiens emerged in Africa roughly 300,000 years ago, grasslands have sustained humanity and thousands of other species. But today, those grasslands are shifting beneath our feet. Global change — which includes climate change, pollution and other widespread environmental alterations — is transforming the plant species growing in them, and not always in the ways scientists expected, a new study has revealed.

Read full article at  Global change is triggering an identity switch in grasslands: Scientists discover species turnover in study of more than 100 grassland experiments — ScienceDaily

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 28, 2019

Red-flag warning issued for Northern California and the Sierras 

The LA Times reports

Critical fire weather is expected Wednesday morning through Thursday evening in the Sierras and much of Northern California, according to the state’s fire protection agency.

The National Weather Service issued the red-flag warning Tuesday. It includes most of Modoc County, and the Shasta-Trinity National Forest in Siskiyou County. The warning also includes a large swath of interior Northern California.

Read more: Red-flag warning issued for Northern California and the Sierras – Los Angeles Times

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 28, 2019

How Wildfire  Management Can Impact Spotted Owls

UC- Berkeley News reports

Spotted owl populations are in decline all along the West Coast, and as climate change increases the risk of large and destructive wildfires in the region, these iconic animals face the real threat of losing even more of their forest habitat.

Rather than attempting to preserve the owl’s remaining habitat exactly as is, wildfire management — through prescribed burning and restoration thinning — could help save the species, argues a new paper by fire ecologists and wildlife biologists and appearing today (July 2 ) in the journal, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.

Read full article at Is wildfire management ‘for the birds’? | Berkeley News

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 27, 2019

Tracking Down Which flowers Bees Pollinate

ScienceDaily reports

Researchers have developed a new method to rapidly identify the sources of bee pollen to understand which flowers are important for bees.

Bees are in vast decline in the UK and across Europe, as are the wildflowers on which they rely. Bees have an essential role in our ecosystems and a third of all our food is dependent on their pollination; just in economic worth, pollination by bees is annually estimated at £265 billion, worldwide.

Read full article at  Where are the bees? Tracking down which flowers they pollinate — ScienceDaily

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 26, 2019

Bird Eggs Communicate With Each Other

The New York Times reports on new research on bird communications

Even Unhatched, Birds Exchange Survival Skills.
Eggs vibrate in response to parental alarm calls, then pass on the warning to nearby eggs.

Read article at Even Unhatched, Birds Exchange Survival Skills

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 26, 2019

Agricultural polluting the water supply

The NY Times reports what individual states you can do to reduce the impact of farming pollution on the water supply. Read story at https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/25/opinion/water-quality-agriculture.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 26, 2019

Shhhhh. Listen Closely. Your Plants Might Be Talking : NPR

With extremely sensitive microphones, a new exhibit at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden shows it’s possible to hear the sounds that plants make when they’re growing.
— Read on www.npr.org/2019/08/25/753208704/shhhhh-listen-closely-your-plants-might-be-talking

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 25, 2019

2019 Bird Taxonomy Updates

Rea about the eBird taxonomy update is IN PROGRESS. At this stage, the new taxonomy and new names are showing up, but correct tallying of life lists and conversion of records to the new species is incomplete. See what species  have been lumped and which ones have been split at 2019 eBird Taxonomy Update—IN PROGRESS – eBird

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 24, 2019

This Carnivorous Plant Invaded New York. That May Be Its Only Hope. 

Read about the carnivorous plant, Water Wheel Plant (Aldrovanda vesiculosa) that has started growing in New York which may what prevents it from extinction at This Carnivorous Plant Invaded New York. That May Be Its Only Hope. – The New York Times

SF Zoo conservation team releases over 1,000 nearly extinct frogs into natural Yosemite habitat – SFGate
— Read on m.sfgate.com/local/article/SF-Zoo-endangered-red-frog-Yosemite-Mark-Twain-14368822.php

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 23, 2019

Carson Pass Wildflowers 8/21/19

Cason Pass Information Center reports

The trail to Winnemucca Lake on August 21. While the peak bloom may be over, there still is an abundance of wonderful wildflowers, particularly in the “garden” area closer to the lake. Quite a variety, I stopped counting at 50 different species in bloom. Some of them you have to get down on your knees to see – it can be a treasure hunt sometimes!”

See photos at  (1) Carson Pass Information Station – Home

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 23, 2019

Mt. Rainier Wildflowers 8/23/19

Mt. Rainier National Park reports

Currently Blooming

Gray’s lovage (Ligusticum grayi) can be overlooked when it is just one of many wildflowers in a subalpine meadow. However, this late-season wildflower can have big clusters of white flowers on branched stems up to 36 in (91 cm) high. This patch was found thriving on the shores of Mowich Lake, but Gray’s lovage can be found throughout the park in wetter mid-to-subalpine elevations.

Please Note: As snow melts away, it may be tempting to skirt remaining patches of snow that are covering trails. However, by going off trail you are walking on and damaging the wildflowers that you may be coming to see! It is better to stay on trail even if that means crossing snow, particularly in the high-visitation meadows around Paradise and Sunrise.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 23, 2019

Arctic Refuge Drilling May Be Stopped

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility New Release

WHEELS COMING OFF TRUMP ARCTIC REFUGE DRIVE
Haste to Roll Out Leasing Approvals Proves to be Their Undoing 

The Trump administration’s high-profile effort to open Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas development appears to have run aground, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).  With prospects of a one-term presidency looming, the effort to secure oil leases before January 2021 has induced undue haste by top officials within the Department of Interior, causing them to cut corners and assume additional risks.

The Trump initiative is suffering from several, simultaneous breakdowns, including –

  • Mounting internal reports of scientific suppression that make any leasing package vulnerable to legal challenge. Revelations that top political officials are directing suppression of objections raised by agency scientific and resource professionals is providing potent fodder for future lawsuits challenging the validity of required environmental reviews;
  • The abrupt resignation of Joe Balash, Interior’s assistant secretary for Land and Minerals Management and the highest-ranking Alaskan serving in DC. By his own telling, Balash was the administration’s point person for delivering Arctic Refuge petroleum leases. Balash also orchestrated censorship of critical findings by Interior’s own specialists; and
  • Abandonment of seismic surveys on the refuge’s Coastal Plain, where leasing would occur. This means lease bidders will lack reliable information on available oil reserves.

Read More…

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 22, 2019

 New England Fall Color 8/22/19

Live Fall Foliage Map – New England Today shows fall color starting in Central New Hampshire and Western Massachusetts as some spots in Northern Main

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 22, 2019

Carson Pass Wildflowers 8/22/19

California Wildflower Report has new photos from a recent hike from Caples Lake to Emigrant Lake

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 22, 2019

PROTECTING POLLINATORS FROM PESTICIDES

The Xerces society has an article on the impact of  Fungicide Impacts on Pollinators

They cover the subtle but significant effects fo fungicides, how bees are exposed and solutions.

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 21, 2019

Montana Hailstorm Kills or Injures More Than 11,000 Birds 

The Weather Channel reports

A Montana hailstorm with winds up to 70 mph killed or injured more than 11,000 ducks, pelicans, cormorants and other waterfowl at Big Lake Wildlife Management Area.

Read full story at  Montana Hailstorm Kills or Injures More Than 11,000 Birds | The Weather Channel

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 21, 2019

Florida’s Panthers Hit With Mysterious Crippling Disorder 

The New York Times reports

Some Florida panthers and bobcats appear to have a nerve disorder that inhibits coordination of their hind legs.

State wildlife officials are sharing video of disabled animals in an effort to identify the ailment and save the beloved, endangered cats.

Read full story and see video at Florida’s Panthers Hit With Mysterious Crippling Disorder

Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 20, 2019

Where Fall Foliage Colors Are Predicted to Peak Late This Year

SmarterTravel report

AccuWeather says warm late-summer temperatures seem likely to delay foliage displays in the Northeast, one of the most popular destinations for leaf-peepers. Noting that “warm weather is predicted to stick around across much of the Northeast and mid-Atlantic this September,” AccuWeather foresees a “delayed foliage season in the Northeast–though, generally, a vibrant display is predicted, thanks in part to dryness anticipated before the turn of the leaves.”

Read full story at  Where Fall Foliage Colors Are Predicted to Peak Late This Year | SmarterTravel

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

Categories

%d bloggers like this: