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September 2015
Male eseal calling by A. Friedlaender

Male elephant seals recognize voices of rivals

Male elephant seals engage in bloody battles for access to breeding females. A new study based at the NRS's Año Nuevo Island Reserve shows these battles may be relatively rare because males can ID the roars of rivals. Voice recognition helps breeding males decide whether to attack or flee based on the challenger's status in the dominance hierarchy. Read more >>
pink cream sacs

Hunting for green treasure

California has dozens of "most wanted" plants--rarities often not seen in years. The NRS's McLaughlin Natural Reserve was the site of a workshop training citizen scientists to spot and collect these green treasures. Their findings will aid UC Berkeley botanists who aim to reconstruct the family tree of all California plants using modern DNA analyses. Such a tree will vastly improve our ability to conserve the full spectrum of genetic diversity found in the Golden State. Read more >>

UC Santa Barbara NRS Day

The Gauchos are doing up the golden anniversary of the UC Natural Reserve System right. They're holding a birding walk at Carpinteria Salt Marsh Reserve, talks by NRS Director Peggy Fiedler and reserve researchers, a dinner at Sedgwick Reserve, a research symposium, a nature photography workshop at Coal Oil Point, and more from October 1 through November 7. Reservations may be necessary; secure your spot today. Read more >>
Blue Oak Ranch building construction

Blue Oak Ranch facilities rise

This past spring, the NRS's Blue Oak Ranch Reserve broke ground on a project to provide staff, faculty, and reserve user housing, drill a well, raise a utility/maintenance shop, and remodel the existing barn to include a laboratory and common areas. The $5.25 million project should be largely complete by the end of September.  Watch the video >>


Search and Rescue at Blue Oak Ranch Reserve

Rescue ready

The NRS's Blue Oak Ranch Reserve is helping California prepare for emergencies. The San Francisco Bay Group 2 Civil Air Patrol ran a search and rescue exercise Aug 29-30 at the reserve involving  victims of backcountry plane crashes. Aircraft overlights from Livermore found one pilot's emergency beacon. A ground-based search and rescue team consisting of high school students found the second pilot, and carried him for a mile cross-country to safety. Image credit: Mike Hamilton

Drought resistant

Kangaroo rats have no need to drink. Their kidneys are so efficient that they can subsist entirely on water released by digesting the dry seeds that make up their food. The NRS's Boyd Deep Canyon Desert Research Center is home to three species of k-rat, including Merriam's (Dipodomys merriami), shown here at the base of a creosote bush. Image credit: Lobsang Wangdu

Speaking forest to power

The NRS's Sagehen Creek Field Station hosted a briefing on the Sagehen Forest Project for California and Nevada Congressional staffers. The Aug. 25 event described reserve research to reduce fuel loads after a century of fire depression while diversifying wildlife habitat in the Sierra Nevada. Image credit: Faerthen Felix Read more >>

NRS Fair grand prize winner

Rosita Soriano, records assistant for the Office of General Counsel at UC's Office of the President, won the grand prize at last month's NRS Fair celebrating the reserve system's 50th anniversary. Her two-night stay at Hastings Natural History Reservation comes complete with a tour of the reserve from director Vince Voegeli. Congratulations Rosita, and enjoy your trip! Image credit: Lobsang Wangdu
A ground nester, the savannah sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis) is often found in tidal marshes and estuaries. This one was photographed at the NRS's Bodega Marine Reserve by Clayton Anderson.


The mating game secrets and bloody rivalries of elephant seals
Año Nuevo Island Reserve
Washington Post
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