Science Spotlight

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Recent accomplishments of CDFW's scientific community


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.

For 21 Years, Volunteer Has Kept Tabs on Morro Bay’s Black Brant

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John Roser began hearing the stories shortly after he moved to Los Osos, San Luis Obispo County, on the shores of Morro Bay in the mid-1990s.

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.

How Harvest Numbers Help Biologists Plan for the Future

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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.

CDFW Completes 2017 Waterfowl Breeding Population Survey

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The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has completed its annual waterfowl breeding population survey.

Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse Survey

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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).

Surveying the Sacramento River and Delta

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How CDFW uses a combination of scientific techniques to better understand fish populations and the general health of Northern California waterways. (video)