Riding the Thermal High

Riding the Thermal High

It’s hard to figure out which is more impressive to watch – the magnificent California condors effortlessly gliding overhead or the enraptured faces of bird lovers gathered here to spend some quality time with the largest terrestrial bird in North America.

Blue Whale Summer

Blue Whale Summer

The tail. Everybody loves “the tail.” It’s the collective gasp from the crowd aboard any whale watching vessel when the observed whale decides it’s time to forgo the surface and dive deeper. Up its body arches and then, just before the hulking cetacean plunges downward, the fluke emerges from the water, dripping, waving, announcing its […]

A Good Howl: Mexican Gray Wolf Pups Born

A Good Howl: Mexican Gray Wolf Pups Born

They tussle with each other, chew bones and frolic with their parents before hitting the snooze bar under a shady tree. But little f1226, f1227, m1228 and m1229 are more than just new wolf cubs learning the lupus law of the land at the California Wolf Center in Julian — they may be the pups […]

Griffith Park’s Wild Side

Griffith Park’s Wild Side

It’s all right here, people. Honestly, is there anything that Griffith Park doesn’t have? Concerts, zoo animals, observatory, playground, merry-go-round, train rides, bike paths, jogging trails, golf courses… Keep reading; we’re going to add to that litany. Comprised of 4,310 acres, L.A.’s biggest park – heck it’s the one of largest urban parks in the […]

Rare Yellow-Legged Frogs Released Back in the Wild

Rare Yellow-Legged Frogs Released Back in the Wild

  It’s not every day that zoo staffers get the chance to return a wild animal back to the wild. Back in May, we reported that the L.A. Zoo has joined in the effort to repopulate the San Jacinto Mountains near Palm Springs with the native, and horribly endangered, mountain yellow-legged frog,  a little amphib […]

Urban Predator: Bobcats Among Us

Urban Predator: Bobcats Among Us

When she arrived in Los Angeles from Texas more than five years ago, Laurel Klein didn’t know that much about bobcats – what she really wanted to study was the large and lanky mountain lion, the iconic image of a big cat predator. But her internship with the National Park Service put her to work tracking, observing and studying bobcats, those seldom-seen urban carnivores that dot the Southern California landscape.

The Emptying of America’s Bat Caves

The Emptying of America’s Bat Caves

For several years we’ve been hearing about the collapse of honey bee colonies in the environment. Less publicized but equally as dangerous is a new pathogen that is killing bats by the thousands — and if steps aren’t taken soon, SoCal bats will be next on the Soon-to-Be-Infected List.

High Noon for the Desert Tortoise?

High Noon for the Desert Tortoise?

Back in May we reported on the threat posed to the highly endangered desert tortoise by the as yet uncompleted Ivanpah solar facility in the eastern Mojave. Construction had been halted on April 15 after workers at the site found more tortoises than previously estimated – 59 as opposed to 25. The upshot? More than 3,000 desert tortoises would be disturbed and as many as 700 young ones killed by what most had hoped would a potent symbol of green technology.

The Bugman of Mt. Washington

The Bugman of Mt. Washington

The Bugman has a list of top SoCal bugs that he wants to see one of these days: the long-horned California prionus beetle, the luxurious ceanothus silk moth and the lovely Pacific green sphinx moth. He’s also itching to see the rain beetle in action. “The males are the only ones that fly and the females are 8-10 feet underground,” he says. “They mate only during the winter rains in the early morning or late twilight hours.”

Rare Native Tadpoles Hatch at L.A. Zoo

Rare Native Tadpoles Hatch at L.A. Zoo

Rock star status? Nope? Cuddly and colorful? Nope. Slippery when wet? You bet.

The nearly extinct mountain yellow-legged frog is not your typical poster-animal for endangered species. Sure it’s not a sexy beast (well, maybe in a Mick Jagger sort of way…) but this little hopper is gaining attention and getting a frog’s leg-up from local organizations that want to see the rivers and ponds of SoCal once again filled with extended froggy families.

California Desert Protection Act of 2011

California Desert Protection Act of 2011

We couldn’t have been more pleased when last year, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) sought to protect about 1.6 million acres of desert lands which resulted in drafting of the California Desert Protection Act of 2011 — and we’re anxiously waiting for it to be the real deal soon.