Science Spotlight

Science Institute News

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Recent accomplishments of CDFW's scientific community


CDFW Pilot Study Establishing Foundation for Enhanced Study of Porcupines

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Not to put too fine a point on it, but studying California’s porcupines hasn’t traditionally been a high priority for CDFW. Wildlife research funding is limited, especially for non-game species, and species listed as threatened or endangered are typically given top priority. That means that scientists sometimes need to be creative – and frugal – in their efforts to survey and manage non-listed, non-game species.

Sierra Nevada Bighorn: A 21st Century Wildlife Success Story

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Seven animals. Can just seven Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep really make much of an impact on the species’ future? CDFW scientists believe so, which is why they came away pleased with the results of their annual spring helicopter capture this past March.

Saving the Burrowing Owls

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A dwindling population of a tiny owl in Southern California has a chance at a comeback, thanks to a collaborative effort by scientists from CDFW, the San Diego Zoo’s Institute for Conservation Research (ICR), Caltrans and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Succulent Plants Returned to the Cliffs from Where They Were Poached

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Last week, a team of California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) staff and volunteers spent hours working to replant more than 2,000 Dudleya succulents that were seized after a poaching investigation. The plants were meticulously returned to the Mendocino and Humboldt county cliffs from where they were stolen weeks before.

Sweetwater River Habitat Restoration

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California’s drought emergency was officially declared to be over last year, but its deleterious impact on fish habitat is still being felt in many parts of the state -- especially in arid parts of Southern California. In order to help offset these effects at one site in northern San Diego County, CDFW biologists and other staff recently toiled to create spawning beds for rainbow trout.

CDFW Unveils New Tool Allowing Public to Report Seeing Tule (And Other) Elk

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CDFW wants to know if, when and where you’ve seen an elk in California – and they’ve just created a new online reporting tool that makes it easy for members of the public to share this information.

Creating Habitat in a Drawn-Down Lake

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More than a decade ago, Southern California freshwater anglers were disappointed to see a tried-and-true fishing spot dramatically affected by an emergency lake drawdown. Due to seismic concerns with the Perris Dam, California Department of Water Resources (DWR) officials deemed it necessary to reduce the water level at Lake Perris near Riverside by several thousands of acre-feet.

California Fish and Game, Issue 103(4)

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The latest issue of California Fish and Game, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s scientific journal, is now available online! Issue 103(4) features articles that add to the knowledge base for three marine species, all of which face potential threats from overharvesting, incidental take and loss of habitat: Thorny stingray, Chinook salmon and green abalone.

Going with the Flow: CDFW’s Water Branch Keeps a Careful Eye on California’s Riverine Resources

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Taking care of California’s fish and wildlife wouldn’t be possible without managing the resources upon which they depend. To that end, CDFW has an entire branch – and many scientific staff – dedicated to the scientific study, and planning and management of water resources.

CDFW Dove Banding Program Seeks Volunteers

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If you have an interest in migratory upland birds – as a hunter, a birdwatcher or just a citizen scientist – there’s a unique volunteer opportunity coming up that will allow you to work hands-on with wildlife, while helping the California Department of Fish and Wildlife collect critical research data that will become part of a national database.