Rhinocerous Romance Afoot at Safari West

Jun 8, 2014
Safari West

  The wildlife at the Safari West African wildlife preserve, northeast of Santa Rosa, has gotten a little bit wilder lately, as they try to encourage a little rhinoceros romance. If you’re wondering just how that works… just listen.

Mobilizing Online in Defense of Ravens

May 22, 2014

  The power of social media and the Internet can be a remarkable thing. One current example is a local woman—someone well-known to KRCB listeners—who has used the web to mobilize bird lovers nationally and world-wide, in defense of threatened ravens in southern Idaho. 

Click here to learn more about the campaign to protect ravens in Idaho. To see or sign Michele’s petition, go here.

Raising Orphaned Beavers

Mar 31, 2014
Bruce Robinson, KRCB

  A pair of rescued beavers at a local wildlife shelter will be returned to the wild, just as soon as they can demonstrate the ability to survive there.

Because the two young beavers have bonded to each other, their chances of a successful release are enhanced, says Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue director Doris Duncan, and their time at the shelter can be shorter and more productive.

What To Do When Bees Are On The Move

Mar 11, 2014
Photo by Ettamarie Peterson / Sonoma County Beekeepers Association

  With spring-like weather conditions and warming temperatures, conditions are ripe for swarms of honeybees to be out looking for a new home. But even though they can be frightening, these buzzing clouds of bees aren’t really a hazard. So rather than getting out a spray or pesticide, the best response is to call a local beekeeper. That’s what Bruce Robinson did to get more detailed advice.

To find a beekeeper near you, go to the website for the Sonoma County Beekeepers Association  and click on the button that says “Swarm Help.”

The Hungry Owl Project

Mar 6, 2014
Hungry Owl Project

 It’s a classic win-win. The Hungry Owl Project is providing habitat and boosting populations of bar owls in the North Bay, enabling the nocturnal predators to feast on mice, rats and other rodents we’d rather not be allowed to proliferate unchecked.

Barn owls are just one of several species of owls that are common across the North Bay. Although they, like most owls, are nocturnal, Alex Godbe, Director of the Hungry Owl Project, says barn owls are easy to recognize when seen in flight. But don’t expect to hear one fly past.

Thinking Like A Naturalist

Feb 25, 2014

Part of the fun of being outdoors here in the North Bay is recognizing the birds, wildlife and flora that surround us. A trained naturalist will know more of the names and patterns all those things, but that’s not the only thing that separates him or her from us more casual observers. A program in Sonoma tomorrow night offers insights into those differences, and Bruce Robinson talks with the presenter for that event.

Drought Threatens Wildlife, Too

Feb 24, 2014

Drought affects far more than human endeavors—it also poses some severe consequences for wildlife in our region, which in turn can have impacts on us.

  WildCare maintains a clinic for wildlife, and they are getting ready for an extra busy season between April and August. This is the time each year, notes the Marin County non-profit’s Allison Hermance, when animal young are born and maturing—and when getting enough water is critical to their survival.

Understanding Elephant Seals

Nov 7, 2013

They’re huge, prodigious divers, and familiar visitors to parts of the northern California coast. Yet Elephant Seals are also calm and approachable for scientists who are gradually coming to understand the massive mammals.

Elephant seals are so named for the males’ large proboscis, as well as their overall size. And it is the inner workings of that prominent nose, explains Dr. Bob Rubin, that enables the creatures to remain ashore, awaiting their mating season, for up to three months, without eating or even drinking water for that entire time.

Living With Mountain Lions

Sep 10, 2013

Mountain lions still roam the hills of the North Bay, but not as many as there once were. And we humans are not making their lives any easier.

  It was McDonald’s own face to face meeting with a full-sized adult male in the Marin Headlands that fueled her passion for working with the big cats of the world. She was out running above Sausalito near dusk, she recalls, when she had that life-changing encounter.


Poisoning Mice on the Farallones

Aug 27, 2013

  The number of options for getting rid of the mice that cover the Farallon Islands is shrinking, but the controversy over that plan is not. KRCB’s Bruce Robinson reports that it’s now down to applying one of a pair of poisons, or conceding that the mice are there to stay.

There will be a public hearing on the EIS for the island at Fort Mason in San Francisco on Thursday, August 29  from 6 to 8 p.m. Aug. 29 in the General's Residence.

Egrets and Herons

Apr 22, 2013
Gordon Sherman, courtesy of Audubon Canyon Ranch

Egrets and herons were nearly driven to extinction by fashionable hatmakers more than a century ago. Today they are a popular symbol of wildlife conservation. Bruce Robinson talks with a scientist who studies them.

Wine Country on the Move?

Apr 15, 2013
Flickr user Jennifer Woodard Maderazo

It is the iconic image of Napa and Sonoma -- neat rows of grapevines. But how long will it last? As temperatures  rise, scientists warn many classic wine growing regions will become less viable. At the same time, new land will become ripe for grape growing, possibly creating problems for the wildlife currently there. As KRCB's Danielle Venton  reports, climate scientists and wine makers say now is the time to start preparing.

Understanding Weeds

Apr 5, 2013
U.C. Davis

  Native plants that grow where we don’t want them are one sort of weed problem. Escaped exotics from other climates can be quite another. The University of California’s leading weed expert discusses both sorts with KRCB’s Bruce Robinson.

You can find links to a weed identification database here, and tips on home weed control techniques in the video below.

Protecting Endangered Snow Leopards

Mar 27, 2013
Snow Leopard Conservancy

Snow Leopards are found only in the high, wild mountains of central Asia, where harsh climate just one of the dangers they face. But the rare cats also have an ally, in Sonoma zoologist Dr. Rodney Jackson. Bruce Robinson talks with him.

Dr. Rodney Jackson will talk about snow leopards in a presentation at the Sonoma Veterans Hall tonight at 7 pm. The program is hosted by Sonoma Birding.

Trina Wood

At times during the winter and early spring it looks like a vast inland sea between Sacramento and Davis. This is the Yolo Bypass, which shunts Sacramento River floodwater around the state capital during high flows. You drive over the bypass on a three-mile-long elevated stretch of Interstate 80 known as “the Causeway” (the Blecher-Freeman Memorial Causeway). The bypass is also the site of a lot of innovative fish and wildlife work.

Appreciating Beavers

Feb 21, 2013
Occidental Arts & Ecology Center

Every schoolchild learns that beavers gnaw down trees, build dams, and keep… busy. Less widely known is just how useful all that activity can be. On today’s North Bay Report, Bruce Robinson takes a closer look.

For a close-up look at beavers in action, restoring a winter storm-damaged home, see the video at the bottom of this page.

Decoding Birdsong

Feb 12, 2013
Danielle Venton for KRCB

Birds speak in a language all their own. Through chirps, warbles, trills and calls, they advertise for mates, warn of approaching predators and defend territories. Naturalist and author David Lukas trains listeners to pick up on these cues and hear a new world, as KRCB's Danielle Venton reports.

Orcas' protection is endangered, too

Jan 28, 2013
Photo: National Marine Fisheries Service

Protection for endangered orcas or "killer whales" off the Pacific Coast may be about to disappear. Lori Abbott reports.

Brain Tumors Found in Sick Raccoons

Jan 17, 2013
UC Davis/Photo used with permission

Sick raccoons are nothing new in northern California, where distemper is fairly common among them. But some don’t fit that pattern for raccoon deaths, and new laboratory studies have found out why.


Sometimes, researchers have an idea of what they will find when they begin their investigations. This was not such a case, says Dr. Patricia Pesavento, a pathologist at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. In fact, their findings surprised everyone involved.