Not many people get to visit Año Nuevo Island—you need a rubber boat, a strong stomach, and a research permit. But sea lions haul out here in droves, and hundreds of seabirds—including rhinoceros auklets—come to breed on its few wind-swept acres. Today, erosion is threatening the auklets’ deep burrows, so researchers are working to restore this critical breeding site for these strange-looking seabirds.
Thriving in cold, dark waters 4,265 feet below sea level, communities of large, ancient, and colorful corals grace the peaks of Davidson Seamount, a 7,546-foot inactive volcano 75 miles southwest of Monterey. Courtesy 2006 MBARI/NOAA, www.mbari.org “Coral reefs are charismatic … Read more
Vernal pools are havens for specialized species, including the endangered Contra Costa goldfield and the native solitary bee that pollinates it.
The several thousand sandhill cranes that come to the Cosumnes River Preserve each year are just a fraction of the 250,000 sandhills that visit California, with populations as far north as the Klamath Basin and as far south as the … Read more
2005 “By the Water’s Edge: A Chronicle of Two Creeks” Our January-March 2005 issue highlighted the riparian habitats of the East Bay’s Alameda Creek watershed. Recently, the Alameda Creek Alliance (ACA) received $1 million from the National Fish and Wildlife … Read more
The Cosumnes Preserve near I-5 in the Central Valley is a surprising mosaic of flooded rice fields teeming with birds, breached levees creating new forests, and a river reclaiming a landscape.
At Vasco Regional Preserve, stone balls the size of dinosaur eggs litter the landscape, the winds burrow into stone, and cup-sized pools tucked into sandstone outcrops teem with fairies (of the crustacean variety). The preserve, owned by the East Bay … Read more
Eastshore State Park, an 8.5-mile-long ribbon of East Bay shoreline between the Bay Bridge and Richmond’s Marina Bay, is proof that many good things don’t come easily. The park is the result of 20 years of advocacy, negotiation, and planning … Read more
The first time I began to pay closer attention to the small band of Columbian blacktail deer that coexist—more or less peacefully—with my neighborhood’s human residents was during the summer of 1997 while working outside on my house in Belmont … Read more
The Bay Area is home to almost 150 species of butterflies, skippers, and moths—and to quite a few butterfly lovers as well. If you number yourself among that group, spring is high season. Here’s a sampling of local butterfly events: … Read more