endangered species

Science Spotlight: Marbled Murrelets

Marbled murrelets, small and plump seabirds with short necks, stubby tails, and webbed feet, nest silently in old-growth forests. Robin Corcoran, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

They sneak silently into their nests an hour before sunrise, after spending a day and a night hunting at sea. Hundreds of feet off the ground, they settle into the highest branches of old-growth trees.

Sandhills Preserve Expands

The Santa Cruz Wallflower, a member of the mustard family, is found exclusively in Sandhills Parkland, only 240 acres of which remain undeveloped. Photo by Peigi McCann.

With its latest purchase of rare Santa Cruz sandhills habitat, the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County expands the Randall Morgan Sandhills Preserve to 200 acres.

Murrelet Stars at Wings Over The Basin

Shy and small, the marbled murrelet lives most of its life at sea but nests in old-growth redwoods and Douglas firs.

The endangered seabird has found a friend in Big Basin.

The Save The Whales App

A container ship passes close to a whale. NOAA photo.

The new Spotter Pro app turns iPhones into instruments of cetacean protection.

Hope for Solutions at Trails Talk

Panelists at the Forest Trails Talk Jan. 29. Left to right, Lono Barnes of Santa Cruz Fire Dept, Alex Jones of Campus Natural Reserve and Will Curtis, captain of the UCSC mountain biking team. Hilltromper photo.

A movement to legalize mountain biking trails at Upper UCSC and rein in environmental degradation began to take shape at the Jan. 29 panel discussion.

1,000 Shades of Green

The Bonny Doon manzanita, found only in this county. Jackie Pascoe photo.

A new guide to Santa Cruz plants has botanists all het up

Protected Coastal Prairie Transferred to Landless Tribe

Coastal prairie is rich in native grass species. California Native Grassland Association photo.

The partnership between the Amah Mutsun Tribe and Sempervirens Fund will keep 96 acres of coastal prairie near Costanoa Lodge under a conservation easement.

The Great White Debate

A great white shark cruises the tank at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Photo by Brocken Inaglory/Creative Commons.

Local and national groups want Shark Week superstars protected.

Seagull Surge

California gull with mouth open

California gulls are damaging airplanes, defecating on people en masse and devouring the offspring of endangered birds.

Brown Pelicans

brown pelican

Spotting fish from 10, 30, even 100 feet in the air, a pelican will angle its head left (to protect the trachea and esophagus) and plummet, protected from harm by internal air sacs. Hitting the water with frightening percussion, it stuns small fish like menhaden, mullet, and anchovies swimming as far as 6 feet beneath the surface.