Audublog

News and notes about birds and conservation in California

California Condor. Photo: Scott Frier/USFWS

Wildlife conservationists cheer Gov. Brown’s call for sustainable funding
Press Center

Wildlife conservationists cheer Gov. Brown’s call for sustainable funding

2017-18 budget proposal highlights importance of finding a solution for a “state with more biodiversity than any other”

Rains helping Mono Lake right when it needs it the most

Mono Lake is an important place for birds, and it has been teetering lately as a result of declining water levels. That's changing with these recent rains, notes the Los Angeles Times.

Pacific herring are spawning in San Francisco Bay and the birds are loving it
Audublog

Pacific herring are spawning in San Francisco Bay and the birds are loving it

Herring are critical food for Pacific Flyway birds in our urban estuary.

Apparently, Black Swans in Australia enjoy a little surfing now and again.

Anybody going to the Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival?

More information here.

Audubon California’s new Salton Sea director brings local experience to effort to preserve critical bird habitat
Salton Sea

Audubon California’s new Salton Sea director brings local experience to effort to preserve critical bird habitat

Frank Ruiz will use his experience in the Imperial Valley to rally support for protecting bird habitat while addressing public health concerns associated with the Salton Sea.

Audubon network speaking up for anchovy
Seas & Shores

Audubon network speaking up for anchovy

Northern anchovy is a little fish that packs a big punch for marine and coastal birds. With stocks hovering at low levels, the Audubon network is working to understand and protect this key forage fish.

Climate change is complicating birds' pursuit of the 'eternal spring'

Great article in the New York Times talking about how bird migrations are perfectly suited to the availability of food and habitat -- and the climate change threatens to upset this delicate system.

Early draft of state Salton Sea management plan circulating

Buried in this mid-December article about negotiations to finalize a plan to avoid shortages at the Colorado River are early details of the much-awaited 10-year management plan for the Salton Sea. This is the plan that the state will eventually rely upon to protect bird habitat at the Salton Sea, and reduce dangerous dust pollution caused as the sea recedes. Anyway, here's what the article says about the plan:

"The document, which was obtained by The Desert Sun, summarizes the state’s proposals for a “smaller but sustainable lake” and lays out broad goals for building new wetlands along the lake’s receding shores to cover up stretches of exposed lake bottom and provide habitat for birds.

The document says an estimated 50,000 acres of “playa” will be left dry and exposed around the lake by 2028. The construction of “water backbone infrastructure” is to begin with ponds where water from the lake’s tributaries will be routed to create new wetlands. According to the 24-page document, which describes the Salton Sea Management Program, initial construction will start on exposed lakebed west of the mouth of the New River “to take advantage of existing permits.”

The draft says that in addition to building wetlands, the state also will use “waterless dust suppression” techniques in some areas. Those approaches can include using tractors to plow stretches of lakebed to create dust-catching furrows, or even laying down bales of hay on the exposed lake bottom as barriers to block windblown dust."

Audubon California has been deeply involved in the process of creating the state management plan, and will continue to advocate for sufficient habitat for birds and other wildlife. A recent report from Audubon California determined that the Salton Sea needs to provide about 58,000 acres of habitat to maintain the bird populations currently using the lake.

House ‘drought’ bill could have disastrous effects for Central Valley birds
Water

House ‘drought’ bill could have disastrous effects for Central Valley birds

Drought bill introduced on first day of the 115th Congress rolls back protections for birds and the environment that Californians have supported for decades.

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