A million years ago, in a climate much like ours today, the land around an ancestral bay teemed with large animals: mammoths and saber-tooth cats; bears, horses, and peccaries. By 300 years ago, the mammoths were gone, but grizzlies, elk, condor, and pronghorn were abundant.European settlers wiped out many of those animals, but programs to reintroduce some of them are now under way. Which raises the question: What should a healthy, native megafauna look like now?
To learn more about ancient megafauna and efforts to protect and restore the Bay Area’s megafauna: Megafauna Video Check out our feature article on the Bay Area’s prehistoric megafauna, and then watch KQED’s video on megafauna, part of their Quest … Read more
As migrating shorebirds pass through Northern California, environmentalists hope they don’t meet the same fate as the hundreds of raptors that perish each year at Altamont Pass in Livermore. More than 40 golden eagles, up to 300 red-tailed hawks, up … Read more
How many people does it take to figure out the number of bird species that breed in Napa County? For the Napa-Solano Audubon Society (NSAS), all it took was some 70 volunteers, most of whom surveyed separate 5-kilometer plots between … Read more
The rounded hills by the Bay are the first thing that catch your eye at Coyote Hills Regional Park. But the brackish and freshwater marshes behind the hills have a charm of their own. Remnant of a once-extensive mix of tidal and freshwater wetlands that sustained a thriving Ohlone community for several thousand years, the marsh is now home to marsh wrens, muskrats, and one of the East Bay’s few remaining patches of tules.
Fall marks the height of bird migrations along the Pacific Flyway. And while the Bay Area has plenty of birds to see, you’ll have to head a bit farther east to see the spectacular sandhill cranes that winter in the … Read more
To see slightly more diminutive returning migrants, head south on Sunday, October 12, for Welcome Back Monarchs Day at Natural Bridges State Beach in Santa Cruz. By mid-October, the butterflies have begun to arrive from as far away as 2,000 … Read more
While you’re exploring the Bay Area this fall, keep your eyes open for the new bird on the Bay. Ten years after Jim Rosso’s initial sighting, San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory Intern Biologist Robin Dakin and photographer David Cardinal recently … Read more
It’s almost impossible to imagine the California landscape without oak woodlands. But this most familiar and prolific habitat faces a number of serious threats, including unchecked suburban development and Sudden Oak Death. Fortunately, many parks in the Bay Area, including those of the East Bay Regional Parks, offer welcome refuge for a variety of oak woodlands.
Habitat Loss On the fringes of the Bay lie the varied wetlands that feed and shelter the Bay’s wildlife. Chinook salmon, white croaker, and northern pintails feed in the shallow water as it fluctuates with the tides. Topsmelt, Pacific staghorn … Read more