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Posts Tagged: endangered species

A Visit with Santa Claus on Christmas Morning

Santa Claus greets a monarch, which scientists say may be heading for extinction. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Christmas morning and the sights are bright. Santa came in his sleigh last night. He came with a whoosh and a ho-ho-ho. He came with a monarch and...

Santa Claus greets a monarch, which scientists say may be heading for extinction. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Santa Claus greets a monarch, which scientists say may be heading for extinction. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Santa Claus greets a monarch, which scientists say may be heading for extinction. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Friday, December 25, 2020 at 6:00 AM
Focus Area Tags: Environment, Natural Resources, Yard & Garden

The Buzz: Protecting Our Bumble Bees

This is the Western bumble bee, Bombus occidentalis, one of four bumble bees on California's  proposed endangered species list. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Bumble bees--how many have you seen so far this year on the UC Davis campus? If you join the thousands of visitors at the ninth annual UC Davis...

This is the Western bumble bee, Bombus occidentalis, one of four bumble bees on California's  proposed endangered species list. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
This is the Western bumble bee, Bombus occidentalis, one of four bumble bees on California's proposed endangered species list. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

This is the Western bumble bee, Bombus occidentalis, one of four bumble bees on California's proposed endangered species list. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

This is Crotch's bumble bee, Bombus crotchii, one of four bumble bees on California's proposed endangered species list. (Photo by Allan Jones, used with permission)
This is Crotch's bumble bee, Bombus crotchii, one of four bumble bees on California's proposed endangered species list. (Photo by Allan Jones, used with permission)

This is Crotch's bumble bee, Bombus crotchii, one of four bumble bees on California's proposed endangered species list. (Photo by Allan Jones, used with permission)

Posted on Monday, February 10, 2020 at 3:23 PM
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture, Economic Development, Environment, Family, Innovation, Natural Resources

Of Presidents and Monarchs

A monarch on the American flag. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Happy Presidents' Day. It's day we honor not only George Washington and Abraham Lincoln but all the men (no women yet!) who have served as President...

A monarch on the American flag. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A monarch on the American flag. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A monarch on the American flag. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Monday, February 18, 2019 at 5:48 PM
Focus Area Tags: Environment, Innovation, Natural Resources

Look Out, Franklin's Bumble Bee, They're Coming for You!

Bumble bee expert Robbin Thorp of UC Davis with his computer screen showing a photo he took of Franklin's bumble bee, now feared extinct. He last saw it on Aug. 9, 2006 in a meadow near Mt. Ashland. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Look out, Franklin's bumble bee, they're coming for you! The question is: Where are you? Have you managed to "hide" all these years or are you...

Bumble bee expert Robbin Thorp of UC Davis with his computer screen showing a photo he took of Franklin's bumble bee, now feared extinct. He last saw it on Aug. 9, 2006 in a meadow near Mt. Ashland. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Bumble bee expert Robbin Thorp of UC Davis with his computer screen showing a photo he took of Franklin's bumble bee, now feared extinct. He last saw it on Aug. 9, 2006 in a meadow near Mt. Ashland. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Bumble bee expert Robbin Thorp of UC Davis with his computer screen showing a photo he took of Franklin's bumble bee, now feared extinct. He last saw it on Aug. 9, 2006 in a meadow near Mt. Ashland. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

This is the Western bumble bee, Bombus occidentalis, found Aug. 15, 2012 by Mt. Shasta. It is on the endangered list. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
This is the Western bumble bee, Bombus occidentalis, found Aug. 15, 2012 by Mt. Shasta. It is on the endangered list. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

This is the Western bumble bee, Bombus occidentalis, found Aug. 15, 2012 by Mt. Shasta. It is on the endangered list. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Saving the Mojave desert tortoise

Saving the declining populations of Mojave desert tortoise is a big challenge. But scientists think that raising newborn “hatchling” tortoises in a controlled environment in the Mojave National Preserve for a year, then releasing the juvenile tortoises into the wild, may help save this threatened species.

The protected tortoises — which live up to 80 years and can go without water for a year — have existed for eons, but are now being decimated by habitat loss and predation. Professor Brian Todd, in the Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology at UC Davis, worries that the increasing use of Southern California deserts for solar and wind energy, will add to the loss of tortoise habitats, and add further pressure to regional wildlife habitats. While developing renewable energy to combat climate change is a good thing, in this case it impacts desert species and their habitats.

Professor Brian Todd, UC Davis, with a Mojave desert tortoise.
Stepping up to the plate to save the Mojave desert tortoises is a triad of academics, government agencies, and corporations, who recently created the Ivanpah Desert Tortoise Research Facility. The new facility, located in the Mojave National Preserve, was designed for scientists to conduct research on juvenile tortoise survival. It was constructed largely by Chevron and Molycorp, and is managed by the National Park Service. Scientists from the University of California, University of Georgia, and elsewhere, are conducting a 15-year study to see if hatchlings released into the wild and/or relocated elsewhere can survive and reverse the population decline.

We can all keep our fingers crossed that this research will preserve desert tortoise populations, and serve as a model for conserving biodiversity.

Additional information:

  • “Protecting the desert tortoise,” video of UC Davis researchers and desert tortoises.
  • “Habitat selection, space use, and factors affecting recruitment of desert tortoises in the Mojave National Preserve”; Brian Todd website, UC Davis
  • “Baby desert tortoises get a headstart in the Mojave,” by Andy Fell and Kat Kerlin, Egghead blog, UC Davis. With a video of tortoises and scientists.
    A hatchling Mojave desert tortoise.
  • “Tortoise territory,” by Robin DeRieux, CA&ES Outlook magazine (see pages 2 and 10), UC Davis, spring/summer 2012.
  • “Mojave National Preserve celebrates dedication of Ivanpah desert tortoise,” Mojave National Preserve website.

Desert tortoises are well camouflaged in the California desert.

Posted on Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 9:44 AM

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