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.
On the heels of Santa Clara County’s 2007 breeding bird atlas comes Contra Costa County’s companion for north Bay Area birders. This year the Mount Diablo Audubon Society released the Breeding Bird Atlas of Contra Costa County.
Firescaping: Creating Fire-Resistant Landscapes, Gardens, and Properties in California’s Diverse Environments, by Douglas Kent, Wilderness Press, 2005, 149 pages, $18.95 Given the propensity for California’s wildlands to ignite, Douglas Kent’s Firescaping is a much-needed addition to the libraries of home … Read more
Introduction to California Birdlife, by Jules Evens and Ian Tait, University of California Press, 2005, 382 pages, $16.95 paperback, $45.00 hardcover Don’t reach for this book hoping to immediately identify birds at the bird feeder. Think of it as a … Read more
From the snowdrifts of Siberia to the labs of UC Davis, assistant research professor Vladimir Pravosudov has studied the food-caching behavior of various birds, including Russian birds that cache up to half a million items in one year. Born in … Read more
Califauna: A Literary Field Guide, edited by Terry Beers and Emily Elrod, Heyday Books, 2007, 293 pages, $21.95 www.heydaybooks.com The bookworm interested in a true literary field guide to California wildlife need look no further than Califauna. Part anthology, part … Read more
The eggers of the Farallon Islands
Mention extinct species, and most people think of long-gone mastodons and saber-toothed tigers. But we know that some Bay Area species have disappeared in just the last 200 years. Or have they? Prompted by rediscoveries of lost species in Solano and Contra Costa counties, we decided to see what other missing flora and fauna might still be out there, awaiting a patient observer.
A field guide to help Bay Area naturalists in their search for local, lost species that are presumed extinct.
How do you commission portraits of species the world has dismissed as extinct, species no one has seen in decades? That was the conundrum we at Bay Nature faced when it came time to solicit illustrations to accompany Presumed Extinct: … Read more