Tag Archives | wildlife

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Mystery of the Red Tide

I stood with my feet buried in sand, staring at the ocean waves as they touched the beach. It was mid-October. To my untrained eye, the Monterey Bay shoreline looked like a child’s bubble bath. To California Fish and Wildlife scientists, it was a terrible déjà vu. Nine years ago, an algal bloom wreaked havoc—and…

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Olive ridley sea turtle hatchlings on the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. Photo by Sukee Bennett.

How does one turtle’s tale promote ocean conservation?

I watched nearly 2,000 baby olive ridley sea turtles hatch while working on a sea turtle conservation project in Costa Rica. Most of them were born in our human-made hatchery from wild eggs we had relocated— each hatchling crawled and tumbled upon dozens of siblings in a sheltered plot, eager to be free. Others were…

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Mom may look like she's taking a break, but she's not. Photo courtesy of Mike Baird <www.flickr.com/photos/mikebaird/4301804307/in/photostream/> at flickr.bairdphotos.com via Flickr, Creative Commons License.

Tough life for otter moms

    Parenthood is both a universal and deeply personal experience. With my science background, I’m always contrasting what I understand as a biologist and what I feel as a mother. Sometimes the latest evolutionary/genetic/cognitive behavioral/comparative biology discovery reinforces my experiences (for example positive benefits of co-sleeping.) Other times it jars me out of a…

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The Dark Side of California Sea Otters

For many years, I thought California sea otters were cute and cuddly. Who can resist watching them playing in the ocean, often with a baby otter alongside? Cute sea otter imagery is everywhere, from event logos to plush toys to bumper stickers, because we love them so much. Sea otters also help keep the ocean…

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Photo by Julia Calderone

Thirsty Creatures

“Don’t you dare lick that seal!” screamed a bikini-clad young woman flicking the salty waves with her toes. As I glanced across the Santa Cruz Dog Beach toward the base of a succulent-covered cliff, a brown mutt the size of a footstool was fondling a lifeless pinniped half buried in the sand. It was one…

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Researchers and conservationists are giving some seabirds and extreme home makeover on Año Nuevo Island (photo: Erin Loury)

Not Your Average Birdhouse

On a little island off the coast of central California, researchers, conservationists and artists are teaming up to help some threatened sea birds raise their next generation. The helping hand comes in the form of some stylish new housing. The Rhinoceros Auklet is a small seabird that researchers call the “the penguin of the North…

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Snow Leopard at the Bronx Zoo. Credit: joshbousel on Flickr.com

Purr-sonality

As any pet owner will tell you, lots of non-human animals have their own personalities. Even within the same species, individual animals can have specific behavioral traits, such as tendency to be shy or playful. In the case of zoo animals, knowing a creature’s personality could help zoo keepers improve its well-being in captivity and…

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Levitating Sea Lions

The title might be a bit of a stretch, but the punch of it approximates how astonished I was to see the sea lions of the Santa Cruz Wharf this past weekend. Before a sunset dinner on Sunday, I was dazzled by a group of sea lions resting on the horizontal structural beams that lay…

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