wildlife

Human Coexistence with Mountain Lions

Aug 4, 2017
Bruce Robinson, KRCB

Mountain lions are apex predators, quietly roaming huge areas of Sonoma County. Do they pose any risk to the ever growing human population here?

Learning About The Mountain Lions Among Us

Aug 4, 2017
Audubon Canyon Ranch

In the wilder, open uplands of the North Bay, mountain lions remain a steady, if elusive presence. But just how many are out there? A current study of the big cats is trying to find that out, and learn much more about them.

An American Badger mom and two of her young.
Paula Lane Action Network

July 29 at the Laguna Environmental Center in Santa Rosa, naturalist Susan Kirks will give a presentation entitled "The Awesome American Badger." Reporter Steve Mencher met her recently in an open field, where she’d been called to investigate possible badger activity.

Living With Rattlesnakes in Sonoma County

Jun 19, 2017
Larry Stratton

Rattlesnakes are part of our landscape, and while they are indeed poisonous, they need not be feared and killed, but can be relocated to less populous areas. We hear more about them today from a man who does just that, and is known as  Sonoma County's  “snake whisperer.”

Rattlesnakes and gopher snakes are often confused, but Al Wolfe, Founder and Director of Sonoma County Reptile Rescue, explains that the poisonous rattler can be readily distinguished if you know what to look for.

Remote Old-Growth Forest Gains Protection

May 2, 2017
Sonoma County Ag and Open Space District

A forest of massive coast redwoods and the diverse wildlife they shelter are getting new and permanent protection, funded by distant urban residents who will never see the lands. 

Bordering the Mendocino County line, the Howlett Ranch contains the free-flowing headwaters to a pair of key tributaries to the Gualala River, and still sees spawning runs of coho, steelhead and rainbow trout. And, Bill Keene notes, it connects other large swaths of protected forests.

Bottlenose Dolphins Now Frequenting the North Coast

Jan 6, 2017
Jackie Sones

Bottlenose dolphins have become increasingly frequent visitors along the north coast, as their range and numbers appear to be expanding.

The first bottlenose dolphin was spotted in San Francisco Bay more than 15 years ago, but Bill Keener of Golden Gate Cetacean Research it took them some time to begin venturing farther northward.

There’s More Than Meets the Eye to Dragonflies

Dec 23, 2016

Dragonflies aren’t just old—they date back to the age of the dinosaurs—they’re strange.  Also colorful, pest-eating, non-threatening to humans, and still surprisingly unstudied.

Among all the strange and unusual things that have been learned about Dragonflies, there is one that stands out above everything else, says Kathy Biggs:  their mating practices.

Tiffany Camhi

The wild horse sanctuary at Montgomery Creek Ranch, just north of Sacramento, rescues hundreds of mustangs. But the ranch also hosts events to raise awareness and educate horsemen about wild horses at its sister training facility in Sonoma County. At a recent demonstration a traditional Argentinian technique called Doma India was used to gentle some of the ranch's horses. KRCB’s Tiffany Camhi reports.

Marin County Parks

For over a year close to 100 cameras have been taking candid pictures of deer, squirrels and sometimes even mountain lions that live on Mount Tamalpais. It’s part of a worldwide effort to inventory wildlife in specific environments. KRCB’s Tiffany Camhi went to a recent photo cataloguing workshop to find out more about the project.

    

Monitoring California’s Black Oystercatchers

Jun 25, 2016

  Black Oystercatchers are distinctive, but not numerous. So these hardy shorebirds are being monitored by naturalists and citizen scientists to see how they are affected by sea level rise and other environmental factors.

Non-Lethal Predator Controls for North Bay Ranchers

Mar 23, 2016

  Predators, especially coyotes, pose a clear hazard to sheep and other livestock in the North Bay. But an advocate for non-lethal controls cites both cost savings and environmental benefits in that approach.

Not only are attempts to eradicate common livestock predators, such as wolves and coyotes, rarely successful, says Keli Hendricks of Project Coyote, but they can have counterproductive consequences.

Sonoma County Bird Census Nears Completion

Dec 24, 2015
Bruce Robinson, KRCB

 The National Audubon Society’s 116th annual Christmas Bird count is now underway. And so is their every five-year  census of the bird species that live and breed in Sonoma County.  The leaders of that effort explain how it works in this archival North Bay Report from last March. Their most recent effort is now in its final stages.

The birds’ behavior offers clues as to whether they are nesting nearby or not, says Madrone Audubon Society President Gordon Beebe.

earthrangers.com

  On previous programs, we’ve talked about some of the unique animals that you may come across during your visit to the parks.  Another animal that you may come across is the badger. Although quite rare, we do sometimes discover evidence of their presence in the parks.

  Facts and photographs of coastal birds, animals, flowers and mushrooms fill the colorful pages of Jeanne Jackson’s recent book.

An unabashed lover of Mother Nature, Jackson has no background as a naturalist, but revels in being a natural generalist.

    

Wolf Protection Plan Criticized

Dec 4, 2015
Calif. Dept. of Fish and Gam

  With Gray Wolves once again ranging--in very small numbers--across parts of Northern California, a plan for managing the species has been drafted and is now open for public comment. But, as Suzanne Potter reports, wildlife advocates see serious flaws in that proposal.

Protecting Livestock from Predators

Dec 1, 2015

The age-old conflict between livestock and predatory wildlife is the focus of two days of public workshops in Hopland that began Tuesday. For ranchers, it can be a costly issue that resists consistent and simple solutions.

In recent months, California's severe drought has increased the number and visibility of apex predators in and around human populations where they are not usually found, observes Pamela Flick from Defenders of Wildlife.

Managing the Tule Elk at Point Reyes

Sep 29, 2015
John Wall

The conflict between wilderness and commercial uses of land within the Point Reyes National Seashore is heating up again—this time the focal point is competition for food between cattle and a protected species of elk.

  The roots of the current conflict between elk and cattle reach all the way back to the creation of the Point Reyes National Seashore, reports Bay Nature writer Alison Hawkes. But finding a balance between the two has become increasingly difficult for the park's managers. 

Grey Wolves Begin to Reappear in California

Aug 24, 2015
California Department of Fish & Wildlife

  Hunted to near-extinction, grey wolves are an endangered species that is beginning to rebound. Recent sightings and a new documentary are re-igniting interest in this apex predator which has been absent from California for nearly a century.

Inside View Now Available at Wildlife Hospital

Aug 4, 2015
Bruce Robinson, KRCB

  If you’ve ever wondered what goes on inside a wildlife hospital, it’s now possible to observe first-hand from the new viewing deck at Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue. 

Tours at Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue are usually held on Saturdays. Find further details here on their website.

Tracking Traffic in the Sonoma Valley Wildlife Corridor

Jul 31, 2015
Sonoma Land Trust

The mountains that frame the Sonoma Valley are full of wildlife, from field mice to deer and coyotes. But how do they get from one side to the other? A newly released study offers some answers.   

You can read or download the full report here.

Keeping Up With White Sharks

Jul 8, 2015

  Researchers have come up with an estimate of the number of great white sharks that circulate in the waters off the northern California coast. And there are not as many as you might guess.

  Sharks are generally solitary creatures, says George Burgess, but they can be found in sizable groups at locations where their preferred food sources are abundant.

 

The Sonoma and Marin coast is dotted with such “aggregation” sites for the Whites, Burgess adds, such as Goat Rock Beach near Jenner, and around the mouth of Tomales Bay.

 

The Dangerous World of Butterflies

Jul 5, 2015

  Nature lovers versus breeders. Preservationists versus poachers and smugglers.  A history that goes back eons versus threatened extinctions in the 21st  century. These are just some of the stories that lie within the dangerous world of....butterflies?

The video below compresses the life cycle of the Painted Lady butterfly into less than three minutes of striking time-lapse photography.

California: A State of Change

Apr 15, 2015

Even before the first western men reached California, the natural environment was altered by the presence of native people. In State of Change, an impressive work or historical ecology, Laura Cunningham illustrates what the state might have looked like then—or even hundreds of years earlier.

Mystery Goo Slimes Bay Birds

Jan 20, 2015
Cheryl Reynolds, International Bird Rescue

Scores of seabirds, coated with a strange, unidentifiable goo, have been found since Friday around San Francisco Bay. Most have been cleaned up and will survive, but the source of the problem remains unknown.

Camera Traps Track Rare Wildlife

Oct 28, 2014
Pepperwood Preserve

Local ecologists are using an innovative tool for studying wildlife. Motion activated cameras, that trigger when an animal passes by, are helping researchers track migration corridors and monitor the effects of climate change.

Debunking Myths About Bats

Oct 10, 2014

  Even though we may not see them all that often, bats are common to Sonoma County. They are also the subject of many common—but erroneous—myths, which tend to come up every year around this time. To counter them, today we have some bat facts.

Rachel Griffiths will be the main presenter at a special Bats Day at the Laguna Environmental Center on Saturday afternoon, Oct. 11.

Nature, Viewing Devices Converge at Optics Fair

Sep 12, 2014

  Nature protectors, nature watchers, and the makers of tools for their observations will all converge in Sonoma on Sunday. It’s the 3rd annual Wine Country Optics Fair, and today we hear from one of the event’s founders about what you might find there.

Admission is free at the Wine Country Optics Fair on Sunday at Cornerstone Gardens in Sonoma.  Find additional details here or see the flyer below.

Federal Protection Sought for Monach Butterflies

Sep 2, 2014
Carly Voight / The Xerces Society

Colorful orange and black Monarch Butterflies used to be a frequent sight across northern California. But in recent years, their numbers have declined so sharply that federal protection is now being sought for the Monarchs. 

You can read the full petition to the US Fish and Wildlife Service here (it's very long) or an FAQ summary here.

Counting California's White Shark Population

Aug 18, 2014

  How many white sharks are swimming in California’s coastal waters? A new survey debunks an earlier claim that the marine predators’ numbers are declining, and that the species as a whole is endangered.

  Sharks are generally solitary creatures, says George Burgess, but they can be found in sizable groups at locations where their preferred food sources are abundant.

The Sonoma and Marin coast is dotted with such “aggregation” sites for the Whites, Burgess adds, such as Goat Rock Beach near Jenner, and around the mouth of Tomales Bay.

Wildfires Cause Trouble for Sea Otters

Aug 1, 2014
courtesy Lizabeth Bowen/USGS

It's wildfire season, and the effects aren't limited to the land. As major fires rage around the state, researchers this week released a study indicating wildfires damage the health of marine mammals, such as sea otters. 

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