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    • June 3, 2019

    Trish and Greg TatarianToday’s Contributor Spotlight features Trish & Greg Tatarian, an inspiring couple who jointly own and operate Wildlife Research Associates (WRA), a Bay Area-based ecological consulting firm. Together, they have contributed over 300 source documents to CNDDB, which have provided data for hundreds of wildlife occurrences. In turn, they use CNDDB data at the start of almost every project during CEQA document preparation.

    When Greg started WRA in 1991, his focus was humane wildlife damage control, and research on artificial roosts for bats. Trish, an amphibian expert, joined in 2000, opening WRA’s horizons to a multi-species approach. As a team, they have made great advances in bat avoidance and mitigation measures in the consulting world, and helped educate agency and independent biologists through California red-legged frog workshops they conducted for many years. Greg’s recent link opens in new windowConservation Lecture Series presentation on bat conservation further demonstrates the couple’s commitment to education.

    They share a lifelong fascination with wildlife. Trish worked for years in wildlife rescue, while Greg’s passion for helping wildlife started with the coral reef aquarium industry, and a mentor who introduced him to humane solutions to human-wildlife conflicts. Trish’s personal career highlights thus far include peregrine falcon reintroduction efforts and California red-legged frog research throughout the state. In addition to his other work with bats, Greg is happiest when helping conserve bat species and their habitat through designing on- and in-structure bat roost replacement habitat for bridge upgrade/replacement projects.

    Trish and Greg have tons of good advice for aspiring biologists! Here are some highlights:
    Trish: “Try and get as much experience as possible from a wide variety of people... being a generalist is often more rewarding than being a species specialist. The more you look, the more you will see.”
    Greg: “Volunteer for short-term projects for a wide range of species… you’ll learn so much from the specialists and those with extensive experience that will transfer to whatever field work you later conduct. Try to come to an understanding with yourself early on whether you have a strong desire to work in the field… field work isn’t for everyone, but it provides a set of experiences and observations that are unique.” As for co-owning a business with one’s spouse: “Field work is very rewarding as a team… it also helps that we get along well, which explains how we could live together on a 37’ sailboat for 10 years.”

    When asked if they have a favorite plant or animal that they’ve worked with, Greg and Trish answered unanimously, like true field biologists: “Whichever one is in my hand!”

    We thank the Tatarians for sharing their field data with CNDDB. Find them online at link opens in new

    Want to be featured in CNDDB’s Contributor Spotlight? Contact Rachel at

    Categories: Contributor Spotlight
    • May 31, 2019

    During the month of May, the CNDDB got some great photos along with many link opens in new windowOnline Field Survey Form submissions. With the weather warming up, emerging plant and animal species can be seen more easily which can lead to great photo opportunities! Here are our favorites from this month.

    Aquila chrysaetos – golden eagle
    Submitted by Kathy Kayner

    flying female golden eagle

    male golden eagle by nest

    Kathy spotted male and female golden eagles with a nest near El Dorado Hills in west El Dorado County. She was able to get the female in flight and the male perched next to their impressively built nest! The golden eagle is a California Fish and Wildlife Fully Protected species. The database currently has 259 mapped golden eagle occurrences in 34 counties across California. Thank you Kathy, for your contribution!

    Streptanthus albidus ssp. peramoenus – most beautiful jewelflower
    Submitted by Kristi Lazar of the California Natural Diversity Database

    closeup of the most beautiful jewelflower

    Kristi, CNDDB's very own botanist, found these interesting flowers in Contra Costa County along a trail she was hiking. It is more commonly known as the "most beautiful jewelflower," which it certainly lives up to. Streptanthus albidus ssp. peramoenus has a longer blooming period that includes the spring and summer months, perfect timing for those out to enjoy a hike. It is a California Rare Plant Rank 1B.2 plant, only found in the Coast Ranges of California. Thank you Kristi, for such an amazing 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
    • May 21, 2019

    In preparation for this post, we were saddened to learn of the passing of CNDDB contributor Dr. Laurence Resseguie in 2017. We are grateful for Laurie’s tremendous contributions to Swainson’s hawk research in California.

    Between 1998 and 2013, Dr. Resseguie submitted an incredible 1,695 field survey forms and reports to the California Natural Diversity Database; the vast majority of them for Swainson’s hawk (Buteo swainsoni), a state threatened species. This data was used to map 492 SWHA occurrences across 42 quads and 6 counties. Laurie’s field work increased our understanding of the northern limits of the breeding range of SWHA in California.

    Dr. Resseguie’s dedication to his work was unparalleled. He came out of retirement to assist CNDDB with updates for Swainson’s hawk records in 2013, driving down from his home in Washington State to locate nest sites with CNDDB staff member Rachel Freund. Rachel recalls Dr. Resseguie marveling at the determination of the nesting hawks as the birds attempted to shade their eggs from the glaring summer sun and 100-plus degree heat. Clearly, Laurie possessed a wide streak of that same determination.

    Laurie’s legacy is an example of how one individual’s observations can make a great impact on wildlife conservation in California. Leave your mark today by submitting rare species detections through the link opens in new windowCNDDB Online Field Survey Form!

    If you’d like to nominate an individual for CNDDB’s Contributor Spotlight, please email Rachel Freund at

    Categories: Contributor Spotlight