CNDDB News Blog

CNDDB logo


Sign up to receive new posts by email.


    • October 10, 2019

    Fall is officially here! The California heat is dying down and the fall transition is starting, which means many native species are preparing for the winter months to come. This transition period can create photo and observation opportunities that aren’t available year-round. Here are our favorite photos from September!

    Smith's blue butterfly on seaside buckwheat - © Patrick Scott, all rights reserved

    Euphilotes enoptes smithi – Smith’s blue butterfly

    Submitted by Patrick Scott – California Department of Transportation

    This male Smith’s blue butterfly was spotted posing on some seaside buckwheat on the coast of Monterey County. Smith’s blue butterflies start to emerge in the late summer and early fall to mate specifically on two buckwheat species, seaside buckwheat and seacliff buckwheat. They carry out their entire lives within a couple hundred yards of these buckwheat species! This butterfly has been listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act since 1976. A large reason for their decline is habitat loss due to development, invasive plants, and livestock grazing. We always enjoy seeing endangered species such as the Smith’s blue butterfly fighting against all odds and reproducing in their native habitats. Thank you, Patrick, for this beautiful photo!

    White bear poppy - © Kristin Forgrave , all rights reserved

    Arctomecon merriamii – white bear poppy

    Submited by Kristin Forgrave

    This delightful perennial was found along the Tetracoccus Ridge in Death Valley National Park. It is listed as a 2B.2 (rare or endangered in California, common elsewhere) in the California Rare Plant Ranking system. Arctomecon merriamii can also be found in Nevada where it is considered vulnerable. In California, it is commonly found in rocky areas of chenopod scrub, or Mojavean desert scrub. Having missed the April to May flowering period, it is no surprise we see the fruiting bodies on this individual. Thank you, Kristin, for the hard work you do and the amazing photos you provide!

    Do you have some great photos of rare plants or wildlife detections? Submit them along with your findings through our Online Field Survey Form and see if your photos get showcased!

    Categories: Contributor Spotlight
    • August 30, 2019

    Can you believe September is practically here? Another summer season is slowly winding down and we appreciate everybody enduring the heat to capture these awesome photos! There were a lot of great Online Field Survey Form photo submissions this month making it hard to choose just two. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

    Burrowing owl in an open field

    Athene cunicularia – burrowing owl

    Submitted by Juan Hernandez, Hernandez Environmental Services

    Juan discovered this pensive burrowing owl near the shore of Lake Elsinore in Riverside County. Burrowing owls are a California Species of Special Concern known to nest underground in burrows that are often created by ground squirrels. They are site faithful and will return to the same burrow to nest every year. These charismatic owls suffered declines in population due to development and habitat reduction, but have been known to adapt to agricultural areas, especially in Imperial County. Thank you, Juan, for this incredible photo!

    closeup of white maple-leaved checkerbloom flowers

    Sidalcea malachroides – maple-leaved checkerbloom

    Submitted by Veronica Yates, Mattole Restoration Council

    This fascinating perennial, more commonly known as maple-leaved checkerbloom, was found along a cattle trail on the coastal bluffs in the King Range National Conservation Area. It is listed as a 4.2 (limited distribution in California) in the California Rare Plant Ranking system. Veronica's initial concern for the small population was that cattle activity along the trail may be harmful to the plants. However, S. malachroides has been shown to thrive in disturbed areas and is often found where logging has occurred. Regarding the cattle Veronica suggests, “perhaps their impact provides the plants space to exist.” The plant may sometimes be confused for others, but its flower helps it stand out. According to Veronica, “Had it not been for the elegantly unique white mallow flowers, I doubt we would have noticed it!” If you find yourself in the North or Central Coast regions from April to August, keep an eye out for this amazing flower. Thank you, Veronica, for all the hard work you do and the fantastic photos you send.

    Do you have some great photos of rare plants or wildlife detections? Submit them along with your findings through our Online Field Survey Form and see if your photos get showcased!

    Categories: Contributor Spotlight
    • July 31, 2019

    The hot summer days have not stopped people from going out into the field and exploring the great outdoors. Here are a couple of great Online Field Survey Form photos that were submitted to us in July:

    Pallid bat clinging to a tree

    Antrozous pallidus – pallid bat

    Submitted by Veronica Wunderlich

    Veronica found this pallid bat in a sticky situation – clinging to branches in a pond, unable to get out. She helped relocate it to a safe and dry spot. The pallid bat is an insectivore and typically catches insects found on the ground. CNDDB currently has 420 occurrences in 49 counties across California for this Species of Special Concern. Thank you, Veronica for this submission and the cool story behind the photo!

    Humboldt Bay owl's-clover closeup

    Castilleja ambigua var. humboldtiensis – Humboldt Bay owl’s-clover

    Submitted by Crystal Welch, Botany Technician with BLM office in Arcata, CA

    Crystal, a Humboldt State University grad, professes her good fortune in being able to explore the diverse botanical communities that Humboldt County has to offer, and attributes her love of the natural world to the experiences she has had in Humboldt. A word straight from Crystal, “I love every minute of being outside and contributing to the greater scientific community!”

    This amazing little annual was found in a salt marsh in Humboldt County. It is endemic to California and is commonly found in coastal salt marshes and swamps along the northern coast. Castilleja ambigua var. humboldtiensis more commonly goes by the name Humboldt Bay owl’s-clover. It is listed as a 1B.2 (rare throughout its range) in the California Rare Plant Ranking system and you can see these amazing little flowers from April through August, perfect for those summer hikes! Thank you, Crystal, for all the hard work you do and the love you hold for our beautiful world.

    Do you have some great photos of rare plants or wildlife detections? Submit them along with your findings through our link opens in new windowOnline Field Survey Form and see if your photos get showcased!

    Categories: Contributor Spotlight