July 08, 2012 by Bay Nature Staff
Spring Wildflowers, a massive basalt outcrop, a scenic gorge on Alameda Creek and plenty of trails through varied terrain await …
August 18, 2011 by Beth Slatkin
If you want to know the best places to find mountain lion tracks, what type of flower blooms on a rock outcrop during a particular month, and what coyote scat looks like at different times of the year, ask the East Bay Regional Park District’s Cat Taylor.
January 01, 2011 by Joan Hamilton
The East Bay Regional Park District is not just the nation’s largest and oldest regional park district. It also has what’s likely the largest corps of professional naturalists of any local park agency. For generations of kids, that’s meant accessible opportunities for hiking, camping, getting dirty, and–most important–discovering the outdoors and getting to know our plant and animal neighbors.
April 01, 2010 by Matthew Bettelheim
The Pacific Coast of North America has only one species of native turtle: the western pond turtle. Just 80 years ago, a naturalist found more than 100 of these creatures thriving along an unremarkable stretch of a local creek. Today, a similar survey turns up a fraction of that, as natives compete with plentiful escaped pet turtles and other exotics. But a new conservation plan could tip that balance, and public awareness, back in the western pond turtle’s favor.
June 04, 2009 by Laura Hautala
A long-running battle over a quarry proposed for Apperson Ridge adjacent to Sunol Regional Wilderness reached a new chapter last month when two environmental groups struck a deal with the quarry operator. The deal includes major funding for habitat protection and other concessions, but also clears the way for quarrying in an area that’s important habitat for tule elk and other species.
July 01, 2008 by Kathleen M. Wong
Most folks don’t think much of snakes unless they trip over them. It turns out that a remarkable diversity of serpents lives nearby, from beautiful red-bellied ring-necked snakes hiding under logs in damp woodlands to three- or four-foot rattlers sunning themselves on rocky slopes in Sunol Regional Wilderness. Able predators, many of our local snakes have evolved fascinating strategies for subduing their prey, whether rodents, amphibians, or even other snakes.
January 01, 2008 by Kathleen M. Wong
Ask most people to name the most important species of our grassland habitats, and they’ll probably pick coyotes, golden eagles, or even rattlesnakes. But experts say that the strongest contender of all is the animal eaten by all those other ones: the lowly California ground squirrel, a true keystone of local grasslands. Belowground, the squirrels’ lengthy burrows harbor insects, snakes, owls, and even frogs and salamanders that couldn’t live in such a dry landscape without the squirrels’ help. And above-ground, they’ve evolved some unusual defenses that allow them to thrive, even as they feed so many others.
July 01, 2007 by Chris Clarke
On summer weekends, the nearly 4,000 picnic tables of the East Bay Regional Park District are packed with families from many of the Bay Area’s diverse communities, returning year after year to their favorite spots, along with great blue herons hunting gophers, crows and ravens pillaging trash cans, and raccoons swiping meat right off the grill. All just part of the curious ecology of our local picnic areas.