CNDDB News Blog

  • July 31, 2019

The hot summer days have not stopped people from going out into the field and exploring the great outdoors. Here are a couple of great Online Field Survey Form photos that were submitted to us in July:

Pallid bat clinging to a tree

Antrozous pallidus – pallid bat

Submitted by Veronica Wunderlich

Veronica found this pallid bat in a sticky situation – clinging to branches in a pond, unable to get out. She helped relocate it to a safe and dry spot. The pallid bat is an insectivore and typically catches insects found on the ground. CNDDB currently has 420 occurrences in 49 counties across California for this Species of Special Concern. Thank you, Veronica for this submission and the cool story behind the photo!

Humboldt Bay owl's-clover closeup

Castilleja ambigua var. humboldtiensis – Humboldt Bay owl’s-clover

Submitted by Crystal Welch, Botany Technician with BLM office in Arcata, CA

Crystal, a Humboldt State University grad, professes her good fortune in being able to explore the diverse botanical communities that Humboldt County has to offer, and attributes her love of the natural world to the experiences she has had in Humboldt. A word straight from Crystal, “I love every minute of being outside and contributing to the greater scientific community!”

This amazing little annual was found in a salt marsh in Humboldt County. It is endemic to California and is commonly found in coastal salt marshes and swamps along the northern coast. Castilleja ambigua var. humboldtiensis more commonly goes by the name Humboldt Bay owl’s-clover. It is listed as a 1B.2 (rare throughout its range) in the California Rare Plant Ranking system and you can see these amazing little flowers from April through August, perfect for those summer hikes! Thank you, Crystal, for all the hard work you do and the love you hold for our beautiful world.

Do you have some great photos of rare plants or wildlife detections? Submit them along with your findings through our link opens in new windowOnline Field Survey Form and see if your photos get showcased!

Categories: Contributor Spotlight
  • July 18, 2019

Tony McKinney is the Branch Chief for the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Information Technology divisions at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office (CFWO). His GIS Team, which includes Emilie Luciani and Ed Turner, maintains a link opens in new windowcontinually-updated geospatial database of federally threatened and endangered species occurrences within the Carlsbad office’s area of responsibility – which encompasses 12.9 million acres, 28 Congressional districts, and 29 federally recognized tribes across southern California.

Rapid development occurring in southern California in the mid-1990s spurred federal, state, and local stakeholders to initiate planning programs to help conserve threatened and endangered species. These planning tools included federal Habitat Conservation Plans (HCP), and the state’s Natural Communities Conservation Program (NCCP). As the HCP/NCCP processes began, CFWO staff realized that tracking biogeographical observations of at-risk species would be essential to the planning process.

To keep up with the ESA Section 10A(1)a survey reports that poured in, the CFWO initiated an in-house mapping program modeled after CNDDB, except observations are kept as individual records rather than combined into spatio-temporal summaries. The CFWO species observations database currently contains over 26,000 records, and is regularly shared with CNDDB, as well as numerous consultants, agencies, and other stakeholders. The CFWO database is used in conjunction with CNDDB to inform the HCP/NCCP planning process, which is on track to conserve areas of important biological diversity across 12,500 square miles in southern California over the next 50 to 75 years. Together, the federal and state databases are also used to help determine if native species warrant federal Endangered Species Act protection, and to delineate critical habitat for listed species.

The GIS Team at the CFWO has nearly 100 years cumulative GIS experience, with nearly 75 of those years at the Carlsbad Office. They come from diverse backgrounds, and have worked on numerous conservation projects, including greater sage grouse listing, the San Diego Multiple Species Conservation Program, San Bernardino kangaroo rat critical habitat, Laysan albatross on Midway Atoll assessment, coastal California gnatcatcher critical habitat, and the Western Riverside Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan. CNDDB is indebted to Tony and his team for their continuing contributions to CNDDB. We look forward to growing interagency partnerships for the advancement of conservation throughout the state!

Categories: Contributor Spotlight
  • July 2, 2019

Summer is officially here, folks! The snow is melting in the Sierras and the sun is shining throughout the valleys. Thank you to everybody who snapped and submitted photos of species taking full advantage of the California sun. Here are our favorite Online Field Survey Form photo submissions for June:

Badger looking left

Taxidea taxus – American badger

Submitted by Matthew Grube

Matthew observed this adult badger crossing a road near San Timoteo Canyon in San Bernardino County. It stopped on its way to an open field just long enough for Matthew to catch its stoic pose. American badgers are a Species of Special Concern. Being one of the most popular mammal submissions we receive, there are currently 590 American badger occurrences across the entire state in the database. Thank you, Matthew for this wonderful submission!

closeup of glory brush

Ceanothus gloriosus var. exaltatus – glory brush
Submitted by Heather Morrison

Heather found this exciting shrub in Mendocino County in an opening of a mixed forest consisting of redwood, Douglas fir, and tanoak trees. It is endemic to California and is commonly found along the northern coast in chaparral. Ceanothus gloriosus var. exaltatus more commonly goes by the name glory brush. It is a California Rare Plant Rank 4.3 plant, and you can see these wonderful poofs of flowers from March to June, with the occasional late bloomers still around in August. So, there is still time to see them before they are gone! Thank you, Heather, for the hard work you do and such an awesome photo!

Do you have some great photos of rare plant or wildlife detections? Submit them along with your findings through our link opens in new windowOnline Field Survey Form and see if your photos get showcased!

Categories: Contributor Spotlight