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Since January 2013, more than 1,100 California sea lion pups have beached themselves along the coast.  Photo:National Marine Mammal Foundation

California sea lion strandings alarm scientists

4/8/2013 // By Beth Pratt

California sea lions, a regular fixture alongside many areas of the Golden State’s 1,100 mile coastline, are known for their playful dog-like antics and social manner. Tourists from all over the globe visit Fisherman’s Wharf, Point Lobos, the Channel Islands […] Read more >

Yosemite's great gray owl population was recognized as a distinctive subspecies in 2010. (photo by Joe Medley)

Give a Hoot for Yosemite’s Great Gray Owl

3/22/2013 // By Beth Pratt

This year’s theme for National Wildlife Week, “Branching Out for Wildlife,” celebrates trees and their importance to wildlife and people. In California, we couldn’t think of a more remarkable—or more rare—tree dweller to feature than Yosemite’s great gray owls. Why […] Read more >

Sutro Sam, the first river otter in San Francisco in fifty years (photo by Mila Zinkova)

Sutro Sam: San Francisco’s Celebrity River Otter

3/3/2013 // By Beth Pratt

“There he is!” exclaimed an onlooker as the otter’s head peered above the water. The patient crowd gathered around Sutro Baths—the ruins of a 19th century public bathing pool on the Pacific Coast—had been awaiting the appearance of “Sutro Sam,” […] Read more >

Sea otter in pup relaxing in Morro Bay (photo by Beth Pratt)

Marine Mammal Mania!

2/25/2013 // By Beth Pratt

Along California’s 840 miles of coastline, you can view a wonderful array of marine mammals. And the sightings recently have been unprecedented, from what might be the largest pod of gray whales ever spotted off the coast of Palos Verdes […] Read more >

porpoise ranger rick gg

The Porpoises Who Left Their Hearts in San Francisco

2/11/2013 // By Beth Pratt

Tony Bennett isn’t the only one to leave his heart in San Francisco. After an absence of over 65 years, the harbor porpoise recently returned to frolic in the waters of San Francisco Bay. When walking across the Golden Gate […] Read more >

Wish They All Could Be California Squirrels…

1/21/2013 // By Beth Pratt

Happy Squirrel Appreciation Day! California is home to ten species of these cute and mischievous critters, including the state’s namesake animal: the California Ground Squirrel. In celebration of Squirrel Appreciation Day, here are some California squirrel stories that show why […] Read more >

Blonde bomber being released on Rodeo Beach. Photo by Ingrid Overgard – The Marine Mammal Center.

Top Ten California Wildlife Moments 2012

12/31/2012 // By Beth Pratt

California is home to a remarkable array of wildlife, from the grey whales swimming in its coastal waters, to the sandhill cranes soaring over the Central Valley, to the bighorn sheep roaming its mountains and deserts. As a result, the […] Read more >

Wolf researcher Doug Smith took this recent photo of a grizzly bear on a bison carcass in Yellowstone. (Photo Doug Smith/NPS)

What a bear really does in the woods…in Yellowstone

9/12/2012 // By Beth Pratt

During my time in Yellowstone, I witnessed some truly extraordinary wildlife encounters. Yet none compare with the experiences of Doug Smith, the leader of Yellowstone’s Wolf Project. Doug has studied wolves for almost thirty years and has been in Yellowstone […] Read more >

California coastal bottlenose dolphins off Avila Beach in California (photo by Beth Pratt

Whales, Dolphins, Seals, Oh My! Marine Mammals at California’s Central Coast

9/7/2012 // By Beth Pratt

Whales and other marine mammals have been sighted recently in abundance off the Central Coast of California-specifically Avila, Pismo and Seal Beaches. Photos and videos of humpback whales surfacing and surprising boaters and kayakers have gone viral, and visitors have […] Read more >

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Facing the Reality of Climate Change: My Day With Al Gore

8/28/2012 // By Beth Pratt

“Nature doesn’t do bailouts.” The former Vice President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore made this simple yet powerful statement to our group after showing us startling images of the devastating drought impacting almost a quarter of the United States, the […] Read more >