Audublog

News and notes about birds and conservation in California

California Condor. Photo: Scott Frier/USFWS

David Yarnold op-ed: Saline lakes are drying up across the West — and putting birds at serious risk

Audubon President David Yarnold writes today in the Los Angeles Times about how short-sighted management of water in the arid West is putting birds -- and people -- at risk. Speaking about the shrinking saline lakes -- such as the Salton Sea and the Great Salt Lake -- he notes that birds are incredibly reliant on these ecosystems that have been increasingly destabilized by diversions.

"Because water birds in the West depend on the region’s entire network of salt lakes, these declines could be catastrophic for the global populations of some species. For instance, 99% of the North American population of eared grebes — small waterfowl distinguished by bright red eyes that are framed by sassy tufts of golden feathers — depends on western saline lakes to survive their long migrations. What’s more, dams, diversions, extended drought and water demand along the Colorado River have devastated cottonwood-willow forests and other native river habitat. While this riverbank habitat accounts for less than 5% of the regional landscape, it supports more than 40% of all bird species in the Southwest."

The fascinating world of CA pelagic birds

Terrific piece in Bay Nature Magazine explores the world of California pelagic birds.

Volunteers help restore buildings at Audubon Starr Ranch
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Volunteers help restore buildings at Audubon Starr Ranch

Great group from Google Irvine braves tough So Cal heat to bring back sanctuary's historic bunkhouse.

Rare wildlife encounter at the Audubon Starr Ranch Sanctuary

Fascinating story about a rare sighting of a mountain lion taking a deer at the Audubon Starr Ranch Sanctuary.

Volunteers brave heat to make a better place for birds
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Volunteers brave heat to make a better place for birds

Volunteers at the Audubon Center at Debs Park help turn urban park in a bird-friendly oasis.

Conservation groups demand to be included in high-level Salton Sea talks
Salton Sea

Conservation groups demand to be included in high-level Salton Sea talks

Audubon California joined with Defenders of Wildlife and Sierra Club to ensure that public health and environmental issues are addressed.

The fight to save national monuments comes to Kern and Tulare counties
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The fight to save national monuments comes to Kern and Tulare counties

Boards of supervisors in each county are prepping a letter supporting the shrinking of the Giant Sequoia National Monument. Our voices can stop them.

Audubon activists descend on Capitol to urge action on climate and conservation
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Audubon activists descend on Capitol to urge action on climate and conservation

June 8 Advocacy Day shows the power of the Audubon network in California.

Swinging south with Audubon California

Some of our staff from Northern California last month took a trip to Audubon properties in Southern California, visiting the Audubon Kern River Preserve, Audubon Starr Ranch Sanctuary, and the Audubon Center at Debs Park. They shot some video and we thought we'd share a bit of that. In this video, you also get to meet some great people -- Reed Tollefson, Sandy DeSimone, and Marcos Trinidad.

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