Science Spotlight

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Recent accomplishments of CDFW's scientific community


Science Spotlight: California Fish and Game, Volume 104-1 Now Available

Cover for California Fish and Game scientific journal featuring a photograph of a black-tailed jackrabbit
The latest issue of the scientific journal California Fish and Game is now available online (for free!). Volume 104, Number 1 features a gorgeous photo of a black-tailed jackrabbit in sunlit profile taken by renowned photographer David Jesse McChesney.

Science Spotlight: Legwork and Expertise Combine to Bolster Endangered Frog Populations

Frog resting on water-slicked rock with water rushing in background
Many years of painstaking monitoring and assessment efforts undertaken by CDFW have helped guide an ongoing effort to bolster the dwindling populations of mountain yellow-legged frogs in Southern California.

Enumerating California’s Most Elusive Residents: Puma concolor

A gold-colored mountain lion snarls from its perch on a rocky hillside, under a clear blue sky
It’s just before dawn in the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains in Mono County. It’s a cold clear morning, a good day to be out experiencing a still very much wild area of California. California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) biologist Justin Dellinger and a Wildlife Services houndsman are preparing gear to go out looking for fresh mountain lion tracks in this vast landscape.

2018 Waterfowl Breeding Population Survey Shows Continuing Upward Trend

Duck in flight
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has completed its 2018 waterfowl breeding population survey -- and it’s good news for hunters and birdwatchers alike, as the total waterfowl population in the state now tops out at over a half million, for the first time in six years.

Scent-Detection Dogs Join Nutria Eradication Effort

Nutria Canine Team
Meet the newest members of CDFW’s “Team Nutria;” a 1-year-old female black Labrador retriever named Star and a 2-year-old male German shepherd named Trigger.

Restoring Franks Tract

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In the heart of California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta lies a 3,000-acre flooded island called Franks Tract.

CDFW Bands Together with NWTF to Benefit Wild Turkey Hunters

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Recent efforts to determine the number of turkeys on the Upper Butte Wildlife Area have been a net success.

Replenishing Southern California’s Abalone Populations

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Harvesting abalone for dinner used to be as fundamental to a Southern California lifestyle as fish tacos and flip-flops. But by 1998, a combination of overfishing and disease led to the closure of all abalone fishery south of San Francisco.

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.