A Safe (And Wild) Place for Critter Cameras

A Safe (And Wild) Place for Critter Cameras

Johanna Turner pointed to where she and fellow camera trapper Denis Callet found the recent deer kill in this Altadena canyon.  The half-eaten carcass was found in sandy open area next to a bubbling flowing creek – and just within yards of homes situated on the ridges of either side. “I bet those folks living […]

Gastropods Among Us

Gastropods Among Us

Suddenly, the calm of Eaton Canyon was pierced by the shriek of delight from a young boy as he rose up from the ground where he had been poking through the leaves with a long stick. A crowd of adults gathered round as he cupped his hand and displayed his find which, on any other […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

Greening the Ocean with Abalone

Greening the Ocean with Abalone

It’s a good thing that green abalone aren’t prone to sudden jerky movements – especially when you are trying to delicately affix a millimeter-size color coded circle on them using a tiny squirt of super glue. The intensity level rises when the goal is to tag 1,000 sea snail subjects in one day. Many hands […]

Sepulveda Basin’s South Reserve: Where the Birds “Were”

Sepulveda Basin’s South Reserve: Where the Birds “Were”

A modest green has returned to the Sepulveda Basin’s South Reserve – but many of its former wildlife residents have not. It’s been nearly 2 ½ years since the Army Corps of Engineers unceremoniously ripped apart and plowed over 48 acres of the wilderness area that’s nestled in the traffic-laden corner between the 405 and […]

Keeping it ‘Messy’ at the L.A. River

Keeping it ‘Messy’ at the L.A. River

Sure keeping things tidy is good for your kitchen, garage and teenager’s bedroom, but tidiness has its drawbacks, especially when you are dealing with Mother Nature and local wildlife. Gardeners know that the messiness of rotting leaves, logs or other vegetation is a direct invitation for bugs, birds and more to “Come on in and […]

Best Whale Watching Season Ever?

Best Whale Watching Season Ever?

It’s being heralded as the “Best Whale Watching Season Ever” in Southern California, but what exactly does that mean? Abundant whales? Different species of whales swimming about?  Whales coming into closer contact with human observers? Baleen and toothed whales performing their own version of West Side Story? There are many ways to consider what makes […]

Critter Corridors in the Classroom

Critter Corridors in the Classroom

Wiggling, fidgeting and anxious. The sixth grade class at Sun Valley Magnet Middle School were painfully waiting their turn to step to the front of the class. They tried to contain their nervous energy and nearly lost the battle. Busting at the seams? An understatement. One by one, groups of three and four came forward […]

A Forest of Possibilities at Palos Verdes Peninsula

A Forest of Possibilities at Palos Verdes Peninsula

Finally. A SoCal forest that’s been lying in ruins since the 1950s is getting proper attention and love. Not a trees-on-land forest; this SoCal oceanic giant kelp forest off the Palos Verdes Peninsula coastline represents seaweed at its finest and is a testament to the power of nature to rebound after devastating decimation. It’s estimated […]