March 26, 2020

Each year for the past thirty years, our Heron and Egret Project (HEP) volunteers have sent us paper forms containing somewhere between six and seven thousand records of nest observations. It takes ACR scientists a good chunk of time at the end of each season to enter those in our database, along with their associated visit data (proofing everything twice!).

March 25, 2020

On February 22, 2020, Living with Lions program director Dr. Quinton Martins tracked down the first litter of kittens born to mountain lion P16 near Kenwood, Sonoma County on Valentine's Day. P16, named Luna by the landowners where she was captured, is a 2.5–3-yr-old female that was collared for the GPS tracking study in March 2019.

The team set up trail cameras to capture the interactions of Mama Luna and her kittens over the...

March 24, 2020

Coronavirus is upon us, and folks are flocking to the outdoors to fight that cooped up feeling of social isolation, with “outdoor activities” being included as an essential activity in many jurisdictions.  On one hand, this is good since being outdoors benefits people.  On the other hand, more travel to hiking and birding trails, especially in our small, rural communities like West Marin where we live and work, risks doing exactly what the experts do not want, increasing virus transmission. In fact, many local public health officials are asking people not to drive to beaches, open space, or parks outside their neighborhoods. As of 3/23/20, many open spaces here that originally remained open for public enjoyment have since been closed because of safety concerns due to...

March 11, 2020

The Long-billed Curlew is listed as a Bird Species of High Concern by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as well as a Species of Special Concern in Canada. Some populations have declined dramatically in recent decades, with threats from loss of breeding habitat, especially grassland habitat, urbanization of agricultural habitat, and hunting.

Over the last 15 years, many collaborators, including ACR’s Nils Warnock, have been using lightweight satellite transmitters to track curlews from a variety of breeding and wintering areas and have achieved impressive coverage that spans most breeding states and provinces and most of the wintering range.

However, a large knowledge gap remains along the coast of California where many curlews winter but few of previously tracked birds...

March 10, 2020

ACR's Fire Forward staff, volunteer prescribed burners from the Good Fire Alliance and the Cooley Ranch crew hosted an active prescribed fire training in early March, aided by the 'false spring' clear and cool weather window.

March 01, 2020

Dear ACR Community,

With the evolving COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, we want to let you know that we as an organization are planning for various scenarios. Your health and safety is primary. While there is still much to learn about coronavirus transmission and severity, we are taking a cautious and conservative approach in order to minimize any detrimental effects to staff, volunteers, and program participants.

Some of the key considerations we are using when making decisions on appropriate responses are:

  • Disease severity (i.e., number of people who are sick, hospitalization and death rates) in our community;
  • Impact of the disease on employees and volunteers that are vulnerable and may be at higher risk...
February 20, 2020

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In This Issue:
  • Environmental Science in the Classroom
  • Documenting Wildlife in Our Backyards
  • Building a Workforce for Controlled Burning
  • Repairing Sensitive Habitat Damaged by Kincade Firefight
  • Tomales Bay Shorebirds in Decline
  • Published Research...
February 11, 2020

The Living with Lions team collared P21, a 130lb, 7-year old male mountain lion, near Cazadero on February 10 after being contacted by a local resident who had lost two goats to this big cat the night before.

Landowner David opted to spare this lion from certain death by depredation permit, recognizing a responsibility to safeguard the well-being of his animals and avoid the senseless death of a wild top-predator. The team dubbed this lion "Goliath."

P21 is the second mountain lion to be fitted with a GPS collar in West Sonoma County. After capture, biological measurements and samples were taken to determine his age and health, as well as to map the genetic makeup of the region and state’s lion populations.

We are extremely excited to see the extent of his range,...

February 11, 2020

Prescribed Fire Specialist Jared Childress and Fire Ecologist Brian Peterson accompanied Burn Boss Phil Dye on a prescribed burn of 27 acres of cattail marshland in the Panoche Valley Preserve, southeast of Hollister in early February.

The burn helps create a mosaic of habitat structure for Tricolored Blackbirds, listed as a candidate for California Endangered Species. By removing the dense stand of cattails and other plant thatch, new growth habitat preferred by Tricolors will establish itself in about 14 months.

Describing the nearly 20-40' flame lengths seen in photos of the burn, Jared explained, "It can seem that cattails burn like a tire fire, but this marsh is surrounded by a high bluff and thousands of acres of green grass, making for safe conditions."

...

February 06, 2020

The Bouverie bell rang out 13 times this week in honor of a new class of Bouverie Preserve docents. These knowledgeable naturalists completed 17 weeks of ACR's core training in natural history, ecology and nature interpretation for children and soon will head into classrooms and on the trail, helping our youngest community members forge a deeper connection to the natural wonders of the Sonoma Valley.

All members of the class of 2020 earned their California Naturalist Certification and were certified in first aid and CPR by the Red Cross. Two seasoned docents also completed the California Naturalist certification. THANK YOU for your commitment to nature, new docents!

Want to benefit from their stellar effort and new insights? Sign up for a docent-led Guided Nature Walk or...

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