Hunting Crayfish With Hot Dogs

Hunting Crayfish With Hot Dogs

One small critter is making one big mess in Topanga Creek. In the slow-moving creek waters, they lurk under rocks, skitter around the silty muck and hide under piles of sticks and leaves, tentacles waving and pincher claws grasping for anything that may be food. These days, food to these invasive crayfish means native frog, […]

Identify Bird Feathers Like a Pro

Identify Bird Feathers Like a Pro

How many times have you bent over to pick up a feather and thought: “Gee, which bird dropped this?” “Why aren’t I better at bird identification?” “What is the matter with me?” The folks at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service can help you with some of those questions with its online Feather Atlas, a […]

More Tour Dates to See California Condors in the Wild

More Tour Dates to See California Condors in the Wild

Unlike seeing any other bird soaring above, the ultimate goose-pimple experience has to be witnessing California condors riding the thermals in the wild. Is it because they are big? Or because there are so few of them? Or just because they are awesome? Whatever the reason, if you want to watch them fly free and […]

Reps and Amphs on Sept. 20

Reps and Amphs on Sept. 20

  Wanting to slither and hop into your heart, reptiles and amphibians are often low-beasties on the wildlife totem pole. Is it because they are often small and good at hiding? Carapaces not cuddle-worthy? Not as showy compared to their mammalian or avarian counterparts? Be prepared to have those stereotypes bashed when you come face-to-face […]

A Tale of Two Squirrels

A Tale of Two Squirrels

Alan Muchlinski looked out his window in the 1990s and knew something was wrong. There was a squirrel in his West Covina backyard that wasn’t supposed to live in Southern California. An Eastern fox squirrel – not the native Western gray – was eating from his apricot tree. The grays don’t like the taste of […]

In the Name of Science and Art

In the Name of Science and Art

Taking photography from the realm of scientific data to artful expressions, wildlife biologist Brenton Spies has found a way to connect two of his great passions – and a new exhibition of his work illuminates both. “Diversity of California Wetlands” at the G-2 Gallery in Venice highlights Spies’ journey up and down the California coastline […]

Building a Mountain Frogtown for Yellow-Legged Frogs

Building a Mountain Frogtown for Yellow-Legged Frogs

Biologists are hoping to establish a future Frogtown high in the San Bernardino National Forest with the recent release of captive-bred young mountain yellow-legged frogs and tadpoles, one of the most endangered frogs in North America. A team of staff and volunteers from the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research  (ICR) introduced the young […]

Studying LA’s Urban Coyotes

Studying LA’s Urban Coyotes

We see ‘em everywhere these days. Sometimes they are as familiar as squirrels or finches. But rest assured, coyotes are indeed a different kind of animal. Discovering how coyotes survive in an intensively urbanized area is the goal of a new research project by the National Parks Service which has been studying carnivores in and […]

Summer of the El Segundo Blues

Summer of the El Segundo Blues

Love and wings are in the air for the El Segundo blue butterfly, that little inch-long flapper that has found a stronghold in the Ballona Wetlands. From now until about early September, these flutterers emerge from their cocoons and start their happy mating dance. It’s also a happy time for butterfly watchers, especially the Friends […]

A Statewide Ban on Bobcat Hunting?

A Statewide Ban on Bobcat Hunting?

Hunters and hunted. It’s the law of the natural world. Some critters are on the top, some were destined to be lunch. But even those on the high end of the food chain often become meals for others in that Great Circle of Life. But we humans have altered the scene over the decades and […]

New Firefly Species Found in SoCal

New Firefly Species Found in SoCal

Fireflies may be the quintessential East Coast and Midwest bug, but some glowing nocturnal beetles also call Southern California their home. Recently a new species of firefly was discovered in SoCal by an undergraduate student at University of California, Riverside who was investigating the wildlands of Topanga for his semester’s insect collection requirement. According to […]

Ewe Know Ewe Want to Join

Ewe Know Ewe Want to Join

The folks at Anza-Borrego are looking for sheep peepers to help them count big horn sheep over the long Fourth of July weekend in their longstanding citizen scientist program. It’s the 45th annual census and over the years, counters and biologists have seen growing numbers of the sure-footed sheep in the area. Current estimates are about […]