Orcas, sanddabs and hungry goats

August 3, 2012

Let this photo of a gray kit fox inspire you to take to the trails this weekend and discover some little treasure of nature that will make your heart sing. For more on photographer Jen Joynt’s recent adventure with the fox, check out her blog.

In the meantime, here’s a brief line-up of today’s nature news, both good and bad. Happy Friday!

  • A Central Valley farmer and his conservative funders are petitioning the feds to take the iconic killer whale off the endangered species list. Apparently, he’s blaming the charismatic orca for having to idle 900 acres of land in 2009 because of water restrictions. The killer whales, or more specifically the “southern resident” population, eat chinook salmon off the California coast. Federal and state water restrictions in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta are meant to protect fish (and other) species, and by extension the killer whales.  [McClatchy Newspapers]
  • Over a third of the seafood sold in Monterey restaurants and seafood stores are mislabeled, according to a study by conservation group Oceana. Even local specialities like Pacific sanddabs and red snapper often turn up as something else. Red snapper is one of the most misidentified species, and is usually rockfish, while sanddabs are juvenile flathead sole. [Santa Cruz Sentinel].
  • You don’t often find such a pastoral scene in the city. But crest the slopes of SF Water’s University Mound Reservoir in Portola District and you’ll fine about 275 hungry goats doing their thing and clearing brush. Need to hire them for your overgrown patch of land? It’s Goats-R-Us. [The Portola Planet]
About the Author

Alison Hawkes was a Bay Nature editor from 2011-2017. Before Bay Nature she worked in journalism for more than a decade as a former newspaper reporter turned radio producer turned web editor with each rendition bringing her closer to her dream of covering environmental issues. She co-founded Way Out West, a site dedicated to covering Bay Area environmental news.