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.)

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By: Dale Sanders, Phd

Over 20 years ago I helped develop a plan that worked well for developing an understanding of the Claremont Canyon watershed in Berkeley.

The canyon is primarily the property of the East Bay Regional Park District, East Bay Municipal Utility District, and the University of California, Berkeley. The Campus uses the canyon for various purposes, including academic research, and physical facilities, including roads and trails.

Claremont CanyonAs a Senior Planner in the Campus Planning Office I was the primary contact for individuals, professors and graduate students and campus units proposing uses and activities in the canyon and the Campus Hill Area.  I had been hired to manage the EIR for the Long Range Development Plan (LRDP).  We were concerned about how the Hill Area (1,300 acres or so) should be analysed and treated for the long term (2005 target).  The LRDP is up for revision for 2020, right now.  The question then, as it is now, what to do about this area of multiple and often, conflicting uses? (more…)

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.

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