CNDDB News Blog

  • June 19, 2020

Bald eagle flying over the water with a fish in its talons.

June 20 marks the day in American history when the bald eagle was designated as the nation’s symbol. In 1782, the bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) was selected as the country’s emblem because of its regal appearance and vigor.

The bald eagle has link opens in new windowpersisted through many hardships, much like the United States. The success of the bald eagle’s recovery is one of the most famous cases of conservation management. In 1940, the bald eagle was granted federal protection under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. For several decades later, it would be protected under more federal acts bringing its importance to the forefront of natural resource preservation. DDT, a synthetic pesticide known to thin eggshells and in turn kill bird embryos, was banned from use in the United States. The following year, the Endangered Species Act was passed and included the bald eagle as an endangered species. Around this time, the bald eagle population in the lower 48 states consisted of a shockingly low 417 breeding pairs. From then to the turn of the century, recovery plans for the bald eagle were put into place. In 2007, only 13 years ago, the bald eagle was removed from the Threatened and Endangered Species List due to the increase and stability of populations. At the time of delisting, survey data showed that the population had grown significantly to 9,789 breeding pairs.

The success and persistence of the bald eagle’s recovery parallels closely to the trials and tribulations of the United States. Even though the fight is far from over, we can take a step back and appreciate the hope these birds symbolize. During these trying times, we can all be inspired by the strength, perseverance, and success of the bald eagle.

To celebrate American Eagle Day, take a moment to learn more about the bald eagle. Have you seen one of these majestic birds in public? If you have been fortunate enough, make sure to report your observation through the Online Field Survey Form!

A bald eagle perched on a tree branch low to the ground.

Categories: Education and Awareness
  • June 8, 2020

Collage of invasive species in California. Top left: red-eared slider. Top right: iceplant. Bottom left: water hyacinth. Bottom right: bullfrog.

This week, June 6-14, marks CDFW’s 7th Annual California Invasive Species Action Week (CISAW). The Department’s Invasive Species Program dedicates its first full week of June each year to increasing public awareness of invasive species issues and promoting public participation in the fight against California's invasive species and their impacts on our natural resources.

Invasive species are a huge threat to native and rare plants and animals, so CNDDB staff would like to invite you to visit the CISAW web page to find out how you can participate. There are prize drawings, fun quizzes, and links to fascinating facts!

Categories: Education and Awareness
  • May 22, 2020

View of snowy mountain and alpine meadow near Carson Pass, California
Photo credit: Rachel Powell 

May 22nd is the link opens in new windowInternational Day for Biological Diversity, and the theme this year is “Our Solutions are in Nature.”

The California Floristic Province is one of link opens in new window36 biodiversity hotspots in the world, due to its unique climate and geologic history, high numbers of native and endemic species, and severe loss of natural vegetation. There are link opens in new windowover 5500 plant species native to California, and 40% of these are endemic—they are found nowhere else in the world. California is also home to almost 40 million people, and some of the most densely populated regions of the state are also centers of high biodiversity.

Biological diversity contributes to many important ecosystem services, such as pollination, water filtration, carbon sequestration, and recreation. Diverse ecosystems are also more resilient and will likely play important roles in our efforts to mitigate and adapt to a changing climate.

Here at the California Natural Diversity Database, we strive to provide the best available data on rare and sensitive species in order to help preserve California’s rich biodiversity. To learn more about the California Biodiversity Initiative and other ways that the department is working to promote biodiversity, visit the CDFW Biodiversity web page.

Categories: Education and Awareness