New artificial islands at Oakland’s Arrowhead Marsh provide some welcome refuge for endangered clapper rails. But can they be expanded into enough other habitats to keep the birds safe from rising sea levels?
How do you see 104 species of birds in one day at a wastewater pond? Ride along on a Christmas Bird Count with PRBO Conservation ornithologist Rich Stallcup and partner Heather Cameron.
Nothing heralds autumn and the holiday season like the evocative sound of geese, honking their way South on a blast of Arctic air. But many Canada geese now skip the annual migration and set up permanent shop in the Bay Area by taking advantage of the abundant food and absence of predators. That’s requiring some wildlife managers to come up with creative ways to remove these feathered friends.
At first glance, Cullinan Ranch isn’t much to look at. Bound by Dutchman Slough to the north and Highway 37 to the south, the Solano County property consists of 1,500 acres of low-lying fields. But this former farmland is about to become the largest restored marsh in the San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
Recent surveys on the Farallones show that the islands’ cute, feisty fur seals continue to make a comeback, more than a century after the West Coast population was hunted nearly to extinction.
Can a pile of dredge spoils covered in a jumble of invasive weeds be transformed into an island paradise for shorebirds, songbirds, and seals? The folks at the Richardson Bay Audubon Center and Sanctuary think so. And after years of planning, ground-breaking on their ambitious restoration project has finally begun on a small island near Tiburon.
Artist Eva Chrysanthe has always been intrigued by the Farallon Islands, those distant humps on the western horizon. But when she discovered a trove of old letters about the islands, she discovered a dramatic story that’s taking shape as a new graphic novel about the Farallon Egg Wars. She’ll talk about the project this Thursday in San Francisco.
They’re the little guys. Small, silver, nondescript fish that are so hard to tell apart that many people simply call them “baitfish.” But though they don’t command the attention of a breaching humpback whale or trophy tuna, these humble creatures–from anchovies to squid–play a starring role in local marine ecosystems. New legislation aims to force fisheries managers to consider that role when writing plans for the state’s commercial fishing fleet.
Save the Bay turns 50 years old this year, and their native plant nurseries prove the organization is as vital as ever, with volunteers putting in thousands of hours growing native plant seedlings for the group’s restoration projects.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials extended to June 10 the deadline for accepting public comments on a controversial proposal to eradicate nonnative house mice on the Southeast Farallon Islands. Opponents cite concerns that the poisons will endanger a range of wildlife on or near the islands, while proponents say the project will help threatened seabirds and the island ecosystem.