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    • August 14, 2019

    western fence lizard peering over the edge of a rock

    Today we celebrate our reptilian friends the lizard. We came across this wise lizard that had some words of wisdom for us:

    We are kin, scales of keratin.
    Spiky and rough, but it's been tough.
    Report for support.
    -W. F. Lizard

    We think this lizard is saying, if you come across any of the link opens in new window24 CNDDB tracked lizards (PDF), to let us know by submitting your findings through our Online Field Survey Form. If you snap a handsome photo of them like this one of W. F. Lizard, it may also be featured in our next Photo of the Month!

    Categories: Education and Awareness
    • July 18, 2019

    Tony McKinney is the Branch Chief for the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Information Technology divisions at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office (CFWO). His GIS Team, which includes Emilie Luciani and Ed Turner, maintains a link opens in new windowcontinually-updated geospatial database of federally threatened and endangered species occurrences within the Carlsbad office’s area of responsibility – which encompasses 12.9 million acres, 28 Congressional districts, and 29 federally recognized tribes across southern California.

    Rapid development occurring in southern California in the mid-1990s spurred federal, state, and local stakeholders to initiate planning programs to help conserve threatened and endangered species. These planning tools included federal Habitat Conservation Plans (HCP), and the state’s Natural Communities Conservation Program (NCCP). As the HCP/NCCP processes began, CFWO staff realized that tracking biogeographical observations of at-risk species would be essential to the planning process.

    To keep up with the ESA Section 10A(1)a survey reports that poured in, the CFWO initiated an in-house mapping program modeled after CNDDB, except observations are kept as individual records rather than combined into spatio-temporal summaries. The CFWO species observations database currently contains over 26,000 records, and is regularly shared with CNDDB, as well as numerous consultants, agencies, and other stakeholders. The CFWO database is used in conjunction with CNDDB to inform the HCP/NCCP planning process, which is on track to conserve areas of important biological diversity across 12,500 square miles in southern California over the next 50 to 75 years. Together, the federal and state databases are also used to help determine if native species warrant federal Endangered Species Act protection, and to delineate critical habitat for listed species.

    The GIS Team at the CFWO has nearly 100 years cumulative GIS experience, with nearly 75 of those years at the Carlsbad Office. They come from diverse backgrounds, and have worked on numerous conservation projects, including greater sage grouse listing, the San Diego Multiple Species Conservation Program, San Bernardino kangaroo rat critical habitat, Laysan albatross on Midway Atoll assessment, coastal California gnatcatcher critical habitat, and the Western Riverside Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan. CNDDB is indebted to Tony and his team for their continuing contributions to CNDDB. We look forward to growing interagency partnerships for the advancement of conservation throughout the state!

    Categories: Contributor Spotlight
    • May 23, 2019

    Met a time traveler recently? They never seem to be in a hurry. Maybe that’s because their body plan has barely changed in the past 200 million years.

    Turtles are humbling reminders of our place in history. In the blip of time that humans have existed, many cultures have been inspired to include turtles in their art and legends.

    Sadly, an armored shell can’t protect against all dangers. Worldwide, link opens in new windowover half of all species of turtles and tortoises may be facing extinction in the near future.

    Help us document and protect these ancient survivors by submitting your records of western pond turtle, desert tortoise, Sonoran mud turtle, and green sea turtle through our link opens in new windowOnline Field Survey Form.

    Western pond turtles sun themselves on a winter's afternoon
    Western pond turtles (a CA Species of Special Concern) sun themselves on a winter’s afternoon.

    Categories: Education and Awareness