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    • October 10, 2019

    Fall is officially here! The California heat is dying down and the fall transition is starting, which means many native species are preparing for the winter months to come. This transition period can create photo and observation opportunities that aren’t available year-round. Here are our favorite photos from September!

    Smith's blue butterfly on seaside buckwheat - © Patrick Scott, all rights reserved

    Euphilotes enoptes smithi – Smith’s blue butterfly

    Submitted by Patrick Scott – California Department of Transportation

    This male Smith’s blue butterfly was spotted posing on some seaside buckwheat on the coast of Monterey County. Smith’s blue butterflies start to emerge in the late summer and early fall to mate specifically on two buckwheat species, seaside buckwheat and seacliff buckwheat. They carry out their entire lives within a couple hundred yards of these buckwheat species! This butterfly has been listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act since 1976. A large reason for their decline is habitat loss due to development, invasive plants, and livestock grazing. We always enjoy seeing endangered species such as the Smith’s blue butterfly fighting against all odds and reproducing in their native habitats. Thank you, Patrick, for this beautiful photo!

    White bear poppy - © Kristin Forgrave , all rights reserved

    Arctomecon merriamii – white bear poppy

    Submited by Kristin Forgrave

    This delightful perennial was found along the Tetracoccus Ridge in Death Valley National Park. It is listed as a 2B.2 (rare or endangered in California, common elsewhere) in the California Rare Plant Ranking system. Arctomecon merriamii can also be found in Nevada where it is considered vulnerable. In California, it is commonly found in rocky areas of chenopod scrub, or Mojavean desert scrub. Having missed the April to May flowering period, it is no surprise we see the fruiting bodies on this individual. Thank you, Kristin, for the hard work you do and the amazing photos you provide!

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

    Categories: Contributor Spotlight
    • October 7, 2019

    Number of Element Occurrences in Current Distribution: 93,915
    Number of Element Occurrences Added Since Last Distribution: 224
    Number of Element Occurrences Updated Since Last Distribution: 262
    Number of Source Documents Added: 2,608

    Species we’ve been working on:


    • Caulanthus lemmonii (Lemmon’s jewelflower)
    • Ceanothus cyaneus (Lakeside ceanothus)
    • Chloropyron maritimum ssp. palustre (Point Reyes salty bird's-beak)
    • Chorizanthe aphanantha (Irish Hills spineflower)
    • Cirsium fontinale var. obispoense (Chorro Creek bog thistle)
    • Crossosoma californicum (Catalina crossosoma)
    • Delphinium bakeri (Baker’s larkspur)
    • Erythronium revolutum (coast fawn lily)
    • Horkelia hispidula (White Mountains horkelia)
    • Isocoma menziesii var. decumbens (decumbent goldenbush)
    • Silene serpentinicola (serpentine catchfly)


    • Ambystoma californiense (California tiger salamander)
    • Athene cunicularia (burrowing owl)
    • Buteo swainsoni (Swainsons hawk)
    • Emys marmorata (Western pond turtle)
    • Erethizon dorsatum (porcupine)
    • Gambelia sila (blunt-nosed leopard lizard)
    • Gopherus agassizii (desert tortoise)
    • Pekania pennantii (fisher)
    • Phrynosoma blainvillii (coast horned lizard)
    • Polioptila californica californica (California gnatcatcher)
    • Rana aurora (northern red-legged frog)
    • Rana draytonii (CA red-legged frog)
    • Spea hammondii (western spadefoot)

    Categories: Monthly Updates
    • October 6, 2019

    Badger at a burrow
    Badger at a burrow. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife , link opens in new windowvia Wikimedia Commons

    October 6 marks National Badger Day! Well, technically, this is only an official event in Britain. CNDDB decided the celebration should be extended 120° to the west.

    Fuzzy creatures snuggled up in warm burrows? Bumbling traffic hazards? Cunning predators? Yes, Taxidea taxus, the American badger, can be seen as any of these things.

    Badgers are found throughout much of North America and are known from every county in California. They are most commonly found in treeless habitats with sandy soil suitable for burrowing. Badgers need large areas for foraging. An individual’s home range may extend over hundreds of acres.

    A flexible predator, the badger is most often nocturnal but may also be active in the daytime. While rodents are their primary prey, they also hunt reptiles, birds, and insects. Badgers don't always hunt alone; pairs of badgers and coyotes have been documented cooperating as a hunting party. That’s a tag team of intelligent predators with complementary skill sets.

    The American badger is a California Species of Special Concern because habitat conversion has significantly reduced California's badger population. The CNDDB includes over 500 badger occurrences across the state. Since they are most active during dark hours, sadly many of California’s badger records are based on roadkills. While a highway doesn’t provide ideal habitat for a badger, it is still important to document their presence within a landscape. We encourage you to report any badger detections (alive or dead) through our Online Field Survey Form.

    Badger with young
    Badger with young. National Park Service photo.

    Categories: Education and Awareness