Science Spotlight

Science Institute News

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Recent accomplishments of CDFW's scientific community


Bat Week Begins!

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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.

New issue of California Fish and Game scientific journal

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The latest issue of CDFW’s scientific journal, California Fish and Game, is now available online.

Drinker Installation Benefits Bighorn and Other Desert Species

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One of the most elusive species in California is the desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni) that live in the dry, desert mountains of southeastern California. Desert bighorn are far from fragile – males are about five feet long and can weigh up to 200 pounds, while the females weigh up to about 150. Despite their size, their keen eyesight and the agility to escape predators up steep rocky slopes, they still face many threats, including disease, human development, expansion and – more recently—a changing climate. Water is critical to their survival in this extreme environment.

New Heritage Trout Production Program for Inland Fisheries

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For more than a century, CDFW’s Trout Hatchery and Stocking Program has been providing recreational fishing opportunities to anglers throughout California. Today, the trout hatchery program is composed of 13 hatcheries, which oversee 20 distinct fish production programs to produce 17 strains, species and subspecies of trout.

Wildlife Corridors at Yolo Bypass Will Help Animals Escape Flooding

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CDFW’s Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area serves two critical – but sometimes competing – needs. The 16,670 acres of riparian and agricultural habitat in Yolo County provide a refuge and an all-you-can-eat buffet for migratory waterfowl and resident wildlife to the west of Sacramento and the increasingly urbanized surrounding communities.

Dove Banding

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As the second half of California’s split dove season kicks off, dove hunters may put more than birds in their bags. They may harvest a bird with a band on its right leg – thus getting an opportunity to contribute important data that will help guide future management efforts.

CDFW Kelp Survey

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Beneath the waters off the California coast are vast forests that are home to an astounding variety of plants and animals. Their sunlit canopies can soar 150 feet from the ocean’s floor. But instead of trees, these forests are made of kelp.

Scientists Battle Mange Outbreak in Urban Kit Fox Population

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Fate has not been kind to the San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes macrotis mutica). Shrinking habitat caused by urbanization and agricultural expansion landed this Central Valley native on the federal Endangered Species List decades ago. California’s total population of San Joaquin kit foxes may now be down to a few thousand animals. To make matters worse, its favorite food, the kangaroo rat, is likewise endangered as the desert habitat it prefers continues to disappear.

Pacific Herring Report

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The Pacific herring – much like squid and anchovy – is an important forage fish that supports a commercial fishery and provides a prey source for all manner of fish and wildlife, including whales, seals, sea lions, sturgeon, salmon, pelicans and numerous other species of birds and invertebrates.

Golden Trout Relocation

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This summer marked the end of an incredible journey for four dozen of California’s designated state freshwater fish, the golden trout, as they returned home after 10 months away. The fish traveled more than 500 miles in tanks and buckets, by hand and by mule, en route to their native waters 9,000 feet up in the Sierra Nevada range.