Part of the Bay Area News Group

Archive for April, 2009

San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge: A special photo essay

Snowy egret landing ( Aric Crabb /Staff)

In 1974, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service established the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, the first urban national wildlife refuge in the country.

Thirty-five years since its inception, the refuge complex is now made up of seven distinct refuges spanning 120 miles and 44,377 acres, from Monterey County to San Pablo Bay. The refuges are home to 18 endangered and threatened species, providing protection to their habitat.

In the next year, a series of beautiful and informative photo essays by Media-News staff photographer Aric Crabb will explore the four seasons of the complex.
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Posted on Thursday, April 30th, 2009
Under: Bird Watching, Birds, San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Waterfowl, Wildlife | No Comments »

Endangered Species Act changes: A win for wildlife & future generations

Macho B, last known jaguar in U.S., died in early March. Photo by Arizona DFG.

Obama bounces Bush ESA changes.

The Obama administration announced Tuesday (April 28) that they would be dumping eleventh-hour Bush Administration changes to its Endangered Species Act that would have dramatically weakened the landmark wildlife protection law.

The decision will once again require federal agencies to consult with experts at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration before taking action that could impact threatened or endangered species.
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Posted on Wednesday, April 29th, 2009
Under: Audubon Society, Endangered species, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Wildlife | No Comments »

Poaching is a BIG threat to California wildlife

Tundra swan by Brian Murphy, Walnut Creek, Calif.
New Image

Audubon California-backed anti-poaching legislation gets first committee hearing.

New legislation to address what many see as a rising threat to California wildlife will see its first committee hearing today (April 28) at the State Capitol. Assembly Bill 708, sponsored by Assembly Member Jared Huffman of Marin, seeks to impose substantial new penalties for poaching.
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Posted on Tuesday, April 28th, 2009
Under: Animal protection legislation, Birds, Game birds, Poaching, Waterfowl | No Comments »

Airplane/Bird Strikes Can Be Reduced

Mallard ducks have hit planes. Photo by Joe Oliver, Walnut Creek, Calif.

I received a news release from Ducks Unlimited this morning that brings up some pretty interesting points about airplane/bird strikes.

Airport planners need to consult with wildlife managers BEFORE building facilities.
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Posted on Monday, April 27th, 2009
Under: Airplane/bird strikes, Birds | 3 Comments »

Great Blue Heron Rookery — where these big, beautiful herons nest

Great blue heron by Joe Oliver, Walnut Creek, Calif.

The other day someone wrote your column about seeing the many great blue herons together.

Have I got a treat for you!

A great blue heron rookery exists in the eucalyptus trees at EBMUD Watershed Headquarters in Orinda, Calif. I checked it out the past 2 years in the spring and it is amazing!
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Posted on Friday, April 24th, 2009
Under: Birds, Great blue herons, nesting | 3 Comments »

Bird nest found hidden in a Smokey Joe barbecue

Bird nest in a barbecue. Photo by Ellen Hennessy, Pleasant Hill, Calif.

I’m attaching photos of baby wrens found in our little Smokey Joe barbecue.

My husband discovered “weeds” in our barbecue the day before Easter, which turned out to be a cleverly hidden bird nest with 5 naked little babies.
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Posted on Thursday, April 23rd, 2009
Under: Bird nests, Birds | No Comments »

BEAR HUNTING: Calif. Fish & Game Commission rejects expanded hunt

In a surprise move, the California Fish and Game Commission decided to reject proposals to expand trophy hunting of black bears across the state.

During a teleconference Tuesday (April 21) morning, the California Department of Fish and Game recommended that the Commission make no changes to bear hunting regulations.

The agency had previously recommended permitting hunters to kill an unlimited number of bears across California and allowing trophy hunting of bears in San Luis Obispo County for the first time. But Tuesday the Department backpedaled on the proposals and the Commission agreed to take no action.
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Posted on Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009
Under: Bear hunting, Black bears | No Comments »

EARTH DAY: How much do you know? Take this energy quiz.

Happy Earth Day to a rain forest in Panama. Photo by Gary Bogue, Benicia, Calif.
panama2004 123

Here it comes — Earth Day — the observance dedicated to the idea that the more we know about energy issues and the environment, the better choices we’ll be able to make about the way we behave, the technology we embrace, and the world we create for today and tomorrow.

Forty years after the first Earth Day, how much have we learned?

For that matter, how much do you know?

Public Agenda, the nonprofit nonpartisan research and citizen’s engagement organization, challenges you to take their quiz.
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Posted on Tuesday, April 21st, 2009
Under: Earth Day, Energy, Environmental | No Comments »

Wolves killing lambs in Oregon caught on Camera

Wolves looking at dead lambs. (AP Photo/Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife)
Wolf Attack

A motion-detector camera has photographed two wolves that were killing lambs on a ranch in Eastern Oregon — the first documented wolf attack on livestock in Oregon since they started moving into the state in 1999.

Baker City-area sheep rancher Curt Jacobs said Wednesday his family — third generation sheep ranchers — had been moving ewes and lambs from the ranch compound, where they had been brought in for lambing, out to pasture last week.

When his brother and nephew went out to gather a band to load into trucks Friday morning, April 12, they found more than a dozen lambs penned near the house had been driven through the fence and killed. Only a few had been eaten.
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Posted on Monday, April 20th, 2009
Under: Endangered species, Wildlife, Wolves | 2 Comments »

Free Disaster Preparedness Guide For Pet Owners

Dog trapped on roof by flooding. Noah’s Wish photo.
dog rescue1

Each year two to three million people in the U.S. are affected by disasters.

Both natural and man-made disasters have made it clear that pet owners need to have a plan in case of an unforeseen tragedy.

The National Association of Professional Pet Sitters has created such a plan designed to provide you with educational and reference tools to help guide you through natural and man-made disasters.
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Posted on Friday, April 17th, 2009
Under: Birds, Disaster plan for pets, Disasters, Pets, Pets & Quakes, Pets in Danger, Reptiles | No Comments »