Science Spotlight

Science Institute News

rss

Recent accomplishments of CDFW's scientific community


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.

Sierra Nevada Bighorn: A 21st Century Wildlife Success Story

Specify Alternate Text
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.

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.

How Harvest Numbers Help Biologists Plan for the Future

Specify Alternate Text
As California deer hunters head to the fields, forests and mountains this summer and fall, their experiences will provide wildlife biologists with key data on the health of the state’s deer herds.

Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse Survey

Specify Alternate Text
Deep in the pickleweed in the San Francisco, San Pablo and Suisun Bays, the tiny salt marsh harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys raviventris) tries to avoid predators and compete with other species for prime habitat. Food and cover are abundant, but its overall habitat is shrinking as humans encroach upon its home range. In south San Francisco Bay alone, 95 percent of the historic salt marsh has been lost to industrial parks and subdivisions. Annual flooding in the winter can be perilous, too -- when vegetation is topped by rising tides, the mice must scramble to find taller vegetation or into upland habitat (grasses around the wetlands that don’t get flooded by the tides).

CDFW Captures Tule Elk in Phase One of Multi-Year Study in Colusa and Lake Counties

Specify Alternate Text
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) recently launched the first phase of a multi-year study of tule elk in Colusa and Lake counties. In partnership with the University of California, Davis and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and with the assistance of capture specialists from Leading Edge Aviation, researchers used helicopter net guns to capture and place satellite collars on 45 tule elk.