Science Spotlight

Science Institute News

rss

Recent accomplishments of CDFW's scientific community


Study of Songbirds’ Calls Provides Important Climate Insight

Specify Alternate Text
Two avian researchers recently completed a groundbreaking study on the effects of climate change, based on the calls of California’s songbirds. By recording the sounds made by eight different songbird species, and tracking the dates they are most vocal and how frequently they sing, the scientists were able to develop a method to measure how the birds are adjusting to climate change.

Ridgway’s Rail Release

Specify Alternate Text
The Ridgway’s rail is a grayish-brown, chicken-sized bird with a long, downward curving bill and a conspicuous whitish rump. Previously known as the clapper rail, the species name was changed in 2014 to honor ornithologist Robert Ridgway. Three subspecies of Ridgway’s rail are resident in California, all of which depend on mudflats or very shallow water (wetland habitat) where there is both forage and taller plant material to provide cover at high tide. They rely on marsh plants such as cordgrass and pickleweed for breeding and feeding.

How Aquaculture will Shape the Future of Olympia Oysters at Elkhorn Slough

Specify Alternate Text
The groundbreaking research is taking place with Olympia oysters at CDFW’s Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve in Monterey County, in partnership with the California State University’s nearby Moss Landing Marine Laboratories and its new Center for Aquaculture.

Banking on a Future for California’s Natural Resources

Specify Alternate Text
In California, lands that support valuable natural resources can be permanently protected through a system called conservation banking. Credits are established for sensitive species or habitats found on a site, and these credits can then be sold to developers or other project proponents who need to meet permitting requirements or are otherwise required to compensate for environmental impacts.

Bringing the Paiute Cutthroat Trout Home

Specify Alternate Text
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) have returned a rare trout species to its home water after a 71-year absence.

Enhancement Projects Weed Out Invasives in Marin County

Specify Alternate Text
Sandy dunes along the California coast often feature hardy European beachgrass and a succulent, freeway iceplant, that many assume is part of the native flora. However, these groundcover plants were originally introduced in the 1800s by Gold Rush settlers who were hoping to keep sand from moving to the nearby roads, railroads and land. Today, they are invasive species that out-compete the native plants and the animals that live there.

Stacking the Odds to Stock California’s Waters

Specify Alternate Text
The beginning of trout fishing season in Southern California is just around the corner, and CDFW biologists and hatchery staff are striving to maximize hatchery trout availability for the many anglers who will cast lines in coming weeks. Trout angling in lower-elevation waters of Southern California generally begins in November and continues through April, to correspond with colder water temperatures that can sustain stocked trout.

Science Spotlight: Studying a “Foundation Species” in the Shadow of Mount Shasta

Specify Alternate Text
In this rugged region of the Golden State, mule deer are an iconic species, valued by recreationists and required by wild carnivores who prey upon them for nourishment. Mule deer are considered a “foundation species” because the large landscapes that are necessary for their survival can also be home to a vast array of other wildlife and plant species.

Wire Cages and Hard Work Help Prevent Extinction of a Rare Native Plant

Specify Alternate Text
Biologists from three government natural resource agencies banded together this summer in an unusual effort to help preserve a species under threat of extinction. They lugged materials to build wire cages into the rough terrain of the remote Lassics mountains near the border of Humboldt and Trinity counties in an effort to protect their target. However, these cages were not built to trap animals; they were constructed to keep animals out.

Bat Week Begins!

Specify Alternate Text
The last seven days of October are celebrated each year as Bat Week – a time to learn about the importance of bats in our environment.