July 20, 2016

ACR's Conservation Science staff was pleased to host Dr. Lee M. Panich, Santa Clara University, and Dr. Tsim D. Schneider, UC Santa Cruz, along with several undergrad and graduate students performing fieldwork in July. In cooperation with the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, Drs. Schneider and Panich are co-directing this archaeological project in Marin County examining social resiliency and change among mission-era (AD 1776-1830s) and post-mission Native American communities. The team's summer acheology fieldwork is focused on Toms Point, an ACR preserve. This is the second season of fieldwork for Tsim and Lee, this year working from July 5 - 24th.

During the time when Spanish missions operated in the San Francisco Bay area, research shows that California Indians found...

July 14, 2016

Inspired by the preponderance of highly competent female conservation scientist and educators on the ACR staff and the philanthropic support of Impact 100 Sonoma, a wholly women-founded and administered philanthropic organization, ACR’s education team designed and piloted a conservation science summer camp for young women in June 2016. ACR’s goal was to provide land-based conservation and stewardship training and theory to a diverse group of young women who express strong interest in science based environmental stewardship.

Led by ACR’s female conservation, stewardship, and education staff and based at the Bouverie Preserve in Glen Ellen, CSI 2016 included a day trip to ACR’s 3,000 acre Modini Mayacamas Preserves near Healdsburg, and an overnight trip that included a visit to...

February 11, 2016
Red-bellied newt at Bouverie Preserve, photo by Ron Berchin

It takes only about 10 seconds of gazing into its eyes to fall in love with a newt. And as Valentines go, newts have a lot to recommend them.

Holding a newt in your hand is among the most intimate wildlife encounters many of us will ever have. They don’t run away, hide, bite, scratch or sting. They don’t slime you with mucus or smear you in musk. Plus they are adorable and just plain fun to watch.

After a good rain, I often see newts padding through the woods with fir needles and tiny bits of debris clinging to their feet, making them appear as oblivious and comical as one of us coming out of a restroom with toilet paper stuck to our shoe.

February 09, 2016

We had a stellar day out on Tomales Bay Saturday, February 6, for our final waterbird count of the season. Besides all the usual suspects, Bufflehead, cormorants, Greater and Lesser Scaup, Surf Scoters, loons and grebes, just to name a few, we had a sweet surprise: the first documented occurrence of Brown Booby in Tomales Bay!

The species, typically found in Mexico southward into Central America, is very rare this far north. Its presence could be related to recent El Nino conditions; the suggestion of a climate-induced shift in distribution depends on whether they continue to occur here in future years.

Every year, ACR coordinates and trains teams of qualified volunteer birders to conduct four boat-based waterbird surveys on Tomales Bay. Each survey is conducted by 15-20...

February 01, 2016

Director of Stewardship Jeanne Wirka and Bouverie Preserve Resource Ecologist Sasha Berleman along with 4 Bouverie Preserve Stewards in January planted roughly 25 red alders and an equal number of willow cuttings on ACR's 2-acre McLaren parcel, completing the tree planting portion of our site restoration plan. The red alder saplings were harvested the same morning from a bog at Martin Griffin Preserve's Volunteer Canyon and transplanted to the site. These trees are key to the reestablishment of a riparian floodplain forest that will support other native vegetation and bird species. Special thanks to our volunteer corps of Stewards!


Near Inverness, close to where the broad tidelands open to the bay, a generous land donation by Helen...

January 06, 2016

Determined birders Kathleen Mugele, Jim Rosso and Gerry Mugele weathered freezing temps and drizzly rain to document as many birds as possible during the Annual Christmas Bird Count at ACR's Bouverie Preserve. 45 different species were found and bird totals ran into the 1,200 mark, see details below. Also within view were jackrabbits, black-tailed deer, and rough-skinned and red-bellied newts.

2015 Christmas Bird Count totals:
California Quail 12
Wild Turkey 56

Turkey Vulture 1

Red-Shouldered Hawk 1
Red-tailed Hawk 1

Band-tailed Pigeon 60

Anna's Hummingbird 6

Acorn Woodpecker 51
Red-breasted Sapsucker 2
Nuttall's Woodpecker 10
Downy Woodpecker 3
Hairy Woodpecker 2
Northern Flicker 12

December 01, 2015

ACR's scientific contribution to the State of the [SF] Estuary Report, completed in October by a collaboration of scientists working with the San Francisco Estuary Partnership revealed a stabilized-to-increasing trend in North Bay Heron and Egret nesting densities, possibly due to improvements in wetlands. North Bay colonies are part of larger SF Estuary Report, which covers 33 indicators of ecosystem health.

Read the full report here: http://ebooks.sfei.org/soter2015/files/54.html

July 27, 2015

On a small but biologically valuable shoreline property in Inverness, our Conservation Science and Stewardship Teams are restoring transitional habitat for the largest tidal wetland area on Tomales Bay.

Once fully restored, the property will extend the adjacent habitat values of Shields Marsh, a publicly accessible, four-acre ACR preserve adjoining the State of California's Tomales Bay Ecological Reserve and just bayward of the Giacomini Wetlands Restoration site. In addition, Shields Marsh is one of the many survey stations around Tomales Bay from which we have been tracking baywide shorebird use since 1989. 

Characterized by dense vegetation on the upper terraces, brackish and salt marshes, and the open waters of the bay, this generous land donation by Helen McLaren...