After moving to Berkeley from Mendocino County, writer David Wallace found that he missed the springtime serenades of his local amphibians. So the dug a small pond in his backyard to see if he could get a few frogs to breed there. It turns out that despite the very real threats posed by pollution and sprawl, the Bay Area’s native frogs are remarkably resilient survivors.
Black bears, Ursus americanus, are found in many forested regions of California. In the Sierra Nevada they occur in all forests down to about 1,000 feet. In the northwest part of the state, they may even roam beaches that border … Read more
Originally, these Anglo-Saxon words referred respectively to species of the genera Rana and Bufo, Britain’s native taxa. (Rana and Bufo are Latin for frog and toad—those genera are also the common ones in Italy.) As English-speakers moved across North America, … Read more
Years ago, there was a quail refuge on the outskirts of the town of Bolinas. Seeking to restore her yard to the coastal prairie it used to be, Bolinas writer Judith Lowry decided to shape her garden to meet the quail’s habitat needs. In the process, she discovered how a covey of quail can stitch together a sometimes fractious neighborhood.
Want to know more about frogs and how to keep them among us? Do you miss being awakened by frog songs in the night? There are fewer frogs in fewer places than there used to be here in the Bay … Read more
It’s small, it’s restless, and it changes sex halfway through its life. Plus, the humble bay shrimp occupies a crucial niche in the complex food web of San Francisco Bay. It once played a significant role in the economy and culture of the local Chinese community. Today, both the shrimp and those who fish for it are still hanging on, but it hasn’t been easy.
The return of endangered coho salmon to their ancestral spawning grounds in this west Marin watershed is an essential component of the connective tissue that holds a fragmented ecosystem together. Greeting the salmon tethers us to the landscape’s seasonal rhythms and reawakens a lineage that goes back to the first inhabitants of this place.
Anadromous Fish Symposium The Center for Ecosystem Mangement and Restoration (CEMAR) and the Oakland Museum are sponsoring a symposium on November 14-15 on “Salmon and Steelhead in Your Creek: Restoration and Management of Anadromous Fish in Bay Area Watersheds.” This … Read more
Q: What’s the difference between bird songs and bird calls? [L.R., Santa Clara A: Bird song, usually produced by the male, is an advertisement of territory and breeding availability, and, in most species, is limited to the breeding season. As … Read more
The Blackhawk Quarry in Danville points to a time, nine million years ago, when the Bay Area was inhabited by elephant-like browsers, herds of three-toed horses, packs of bone-crunching dogs, and an eight-foot-long-sabertooth salmonid, Where did they all go?