Alex Breitler, Record

More than 20,000 salmon splashed up San Joaquin Valley streams to spawn last year, a relatively robust return that you’d think would bode well for future populations.

But now biologists are worried that the offspring of those fish will not survive, because there’s simply not enough water to flush the babies back downstream toward the ocean.

And if they don’t make it out alive, that means fewer adult salmon returning to our rivers three years down the road.

Click here to read more at Recordnet.com

Here are some beautiful pictures taken by FLCR’s own Jim Marsh of the 3 acre Native Grass Restoration site at university of the Pacific!

Throughout the year, birders look forward to changing seasons and avian scenes as they explore woods, grasslands, and wetlands: the spectacle of spring migration, the songs of breeding birds, the autumn southward flight of wintering species from northern nesting grounds.

Increasingly, though, both casual bird-watchers and ornithologists note a steady decline in numbers—not just of endangered species, but also of common birds not usually considered to be at risk. Study after study, survey after survey show a worrisome downward trend in populations.

A National Audubon Society report called Common Birds in Decline, for instance, shows that some widespread species generally thought to be secure have decreased in number as much as 80 percent since 1967, and the 19 others in the report have lost half their populations. The figures reflect an array of threats faced by birds throughout North America. (Read about the decline of European songbirds in National Geographic magazine.)

Click here to read more at nationalgeographic.com

Stockton’s stunning urban wildlife could be divided into three groups.

There are your charmers: Otters splashing in the muddy Calaveras River. A family of foxes frolicking on the banks. That dolphin that once wandered up the Deep Water Channel.

It’s spring, and life is all around us. You don’t have to go to a state park or the beach or Yosemite.

Just open your front door, and open your eyes.

Click here to read more at Recordnet.com

By: Kim Delfino, Defenders of Wildlife

It’s almost February, and on the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge Complex, things are getting interesting.  The great Pacific Flyway migration is winding down — up to a million waterfowl have visited the refuge, including Ross’ geese, Aleutian cackling geese, snow geese, green-winged teal, mallard and American widgeon.  The Tule Elk bulls are getting ready to shed their antlers, and the showy wildflowers that ring the unique endangered vernal pool wetlands are about to bloom.  Vernal pools are seasonal, temporary pools of water in grasslands that provide habitat for more than 40 different kinds of species.  As the water evaporates in these pools, different kinds of flowers bloom in concentric rings around them – it’s quite a show! Amid all of this natural hullabaloo is another kind of hubbub – a debate over whether or not the San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge, part of the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge Complex, should be expanded into San Joaquin County.

Click here to read more at Defenders.org

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will host two open house meetings to answer questions and receive public input on the proposed expansion of the San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge.

The meeting nearest to Stockton will be held:

When: Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Time: 4:00 – 7:00 PM
Where: Hampton Inn Suites, Lathrop, CA 
(103 East Louise Avenue, Lathrop, Calif)

The Fish and Wildlife Service is considering expanding the Refuge in two sections; north and south of the existing boundary along the San Joaquin River. The northern portion of the study area includes a 15-mile reach of the San Joaquin River from the existing boundary of the Refuge north to a point west of Manteca, in San Joaquin County.

The San Joaquin Farm Bureau has voiced their opposition to the expansion, without having balanced discussion about the proposal!  (If you have not read the proposal, click here to download a copy.)  (more…)

Expanding the world’s largest network of wildlife refuges into San Joaquin County would attract rare and beautiful migratory birds, open up new boating and fishing opportunities, and reduce flood risk in urban areas, federal officials say in a new report.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says enlarging the San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge is a “unique” opportunity to restore a major corridor of wildlife habitat along the second largest stream in California, and triple the number of refuge visitors in the process.

Stockton conservationist Jeremy Terhune, head of the group Friends of the Lower Calaveras River, said he feels the good of the project outweighs any perceived bad. Now, with the proposal in hand, is the time to discuss expanding the refuge, he said.

“It means jobs,” Terhune said. “It means outdoor recreational opportunities. It means habitat for birds, which are having a hard enough time as it is. Everybody benefits.”


Click here to read more at Recordnet.com


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