Science Spotlight

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Recent accomplishments of CDFW's scientific community


Counting Lizards: New CDFW Study Confirms a Better Way to Survey Reptiles

Small brown, gray, and blue speckled lizard on man's hands
One might say that a groundbreaking new study conducted by two CDFW scientists and their research partners provides a leap forward in lizard research.

Remotely Operated Vehicle Gives Scientists an Underwater View into California’s MPAs

Three men on boat wearing thick coats, life vests, and white hard hats. Two of the men are looking over side of boat at large green and black machine on crane above water. Third man holding gray metal box with large buttons.
Marine scientists from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and Marine Applied Research and Exploration (MARE) recently completed an unprecedented three-year survey of deep-water habitats off the California coast using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV).

California’s Missing Monarchs: Scientists Work to Reverse a Worrisome Trend

Dangling tree branches covered in orange monarch butterflies
For residents of many coastal California towns, the colorful Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus plexippus) migration has been a welcome wintertime sight for generations. The beautiful and distinctive orange-and-black patterned insects have historically congregated at more than 400 known sites in the Golden State.

Habitat Study Shows How American Pikas Fare in Warming Temperatures

Closeup of small brown and gray rodent atop rocks chewing on leaves
CDFW staff recently conducted a study to determine whether American pika in California are able to find sufficient refuge from elevated temperatures in their natural habitat. Previous CDFW collaborative research and related work has suggested that pikas in California and Nevada have been declining in warmer areas, but some scientists contend that underground temperature refuges will protect pikas from warming temperature trends.