West Nile Virus

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Amid predictions that the West Nile virus will reach the Bay Area some time this summer, local health and pest control authorities are keeping a sharp eye out for mosquitoes carrying the disease. The first sign of the virus’ presence … Read more

Eye to Eye with Otters

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Dubbed the cosmic center of the universe by locals, Elkhorn Slough is one of the richest wetlands along the California coast, a magnet for wildlife and humans alike. And the best way to see it all is in a kayak.

Update: Sea Otter Census Numbers Rise

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Since our story went to press, there’s been some good news for the Southern Sea Otter: census numbers for the California population soared by 17 percent since last year. More than 2,500 otters were counted off our coast this spring, … Read more

Hidden Treasures of the Harbor

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Below the opaque surface of the calm waters of Richmond and Sausalito Harbors lies an unexpected world of curious forms, brilliant colors, and furious competition for a place to hold on.

Do Any Bay Area Animals Hibernate in Winter?

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Our temperate climate here in the Bay Area means that most inhabitants don’t have to hibernate. Hibernation is a form of adaptive hypothermia, a continuum of responses to climatic variations that allow an animal to save energy by temporarily abandoning … Read more

Fluke or Fixture

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An increasing number of gray whales have been spotted in San Francisco Bay in recent years. Why are these aquatic giants venturing here now in greater numbers? Are they temporary refugees? Or are they adding a regular stop on their 10,000-mile-long migration route?

Sonar Testing and Gray Whales

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In mid-November, a federal judge gave the U.S. Navy permission to test its Low-Frequency Array (LFA) sonar in the western Pacific Ocean. The system transmits sounds up to 215 decibels, approximately equivalent to the noise of an F-15 fighter jet … Read more