This April, the San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory (SFBBO) is looking for volunteers to assist with western burrowing owl breeding surveys at the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge in south Fremont. The surveys will take place on the Warm Springs Unit of the refuge, a 700-acre vernal pool grassland home to special-status species like burrowing owls as well as California tiger salamanders, vernal pool tadpole shrimp, and Contra Costa goldfields.
The SFBBO, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is looking for 60 volunteers over three survey sessions (with priority given to current SFBBO members):
- Session 1: Wednesday, April 15th – 5:00 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.
- Session 1: Thursday, April 16th – 5:00 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.
- Session 1: Wednesday, April 18 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Training will be provided on site beforehand to familiarize volunteers with survey techniques. Volunteers are cautioned to wear layered clothing; sturdy shoes/boots; and plenty of water.
To volunteer, send an email to SFBBO Habitats Ecologist Aidona Kakouros at email@example.com with the subject line “BUOW surveys in Warm Springs”.
The application deadline is Friday, April 10.
This spring the Elkhorn Slough Coastal Training Program is once again sponsoring the California Red-Legged Frog Workshop 2015 for the 15th year running with presenters Trish Tatarian and Greg Tatarian. The workshop, slated for May 21, 2015 at the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve in Watsonville, CA, will provide a comprehensive review of the species’ natural history and conservation efforts with both classroom lecture and a field training session. Among the topics covered are species identification, natural history, habitat requirements, management practices, habitat assessments, pond designs, equipment demonstrations, tadpole identification, and survey methodology, including a night-time training practicum in the field.
Space is limited, so act now! This year’s registration deadline is April 28th.
One of the pluses the Elkhorn Slough Coastal Training Program provides is free online access to workshop materials and related peer-reviewed papers. Make sure to check it out here!
Overlooking the fact that we should be immersing ourselves in Nature – not our mobile phones – when we’re outdoors, in January the California Department of Fish and Game released a new app to “give Californians an opportunity to help protect the state’s fish and wildlife resources”. CalTIP (Californians Turn In Poachers and Polluters), first introduced in 1981, is a confidential secret witness program to help the public report poaching or polluting incidents or any fish and wildlife violation.
CalTIP’s toll free telephone number – 1(888) 334-CALTIP / 1 (888) 334-2258 – is an anonymous 24/7 tip-line. But for those that are app aficionados, the CalTIP app pilot program offers a new, simple visual reporting platform with the ability to include photographs. This is an improvement on (but does not replace) the previous ‘tip411′ option that allows the public to text message anonymously with CDFW wildlife officers by texting 847411 (tip411).
What’s reportable? Poaching, polluting incidents, and any fish and wildlife violations, including hunting or fishing out of season, exceeding bag limits, illegal commercialization (selling) of wildlife, trespassing, hunting or fishing in closed areas like Marine Life Protection Areas or Game Reserves, habitat destruction, transporting and introducing certain non-native species, agricultural pollution, dumping of household waste, industrial spills, and illegal marijuana gardens.