Here at CIMI, we are a proud proponent of keeping wild places wild. That’s why we’re celebrating the anniversary of the first National Wildlife Refuge. Using an executive order, the conservation-minded President Theodore Roosevelt established the Pelican Island Refuge on March 14, 1903. Since that day, over 560 national wildlife refuges have been created across the United States. The Wildlife Refuge System is an extensive network of protected areas created with the intention of conserving, managing, and even restoring animal and plants populations. Over 150,000,000 acres of our country are dedicated to nation wildlife refuges, protecting over 220 species of mammals, 250 reptiles and amphibians, 700 species of birds, and 1,000 species of fish! These refuges are incredibly important to plants and animals, seeing as over 380 threatened and endangered species call them home.
The California Condor Recovery Program (Recovery Program) is a multi-entity effort, lead by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to recover the endangered California condor.
Photo Credit: www.fws.gov “California Condor Recovery Program”
There are 39 National Wildlife Refuges in California starting as far south as Tijuana and reaching as far north as Castle Rock on the border between California and Oregon. The Hopper Mountain National Refuge Complex is a system of 4 national wildlife refuges that were established in California to protect the endangered California condor. Due to lead poisoning, poaching, and habitat destruction, California condors were nearly driven extinct in the 29th century. With only 22 individuals left in the wild, drastic measures needed to be taken! Combined efforts to both protect the condors’ habitats with National Wildlife Refuges as well as capture the condors breeding programs has led to a recent boom in their population. Today, California condors are released into the Hopper Mountain National Refuge to roost and live out their lives with minimal human interference; this has led to an increase in numbers to more than 425 in captivity or in the wild, protected by wildlife refuges.
Written by: Max Veenema
Upwelling is a process that involves cold, nutrient rich water being brought up to the surface. At the equator, upwelling is a regular occurrence due to the combination of the Earth’s rotation and the wind mostly blowing from East to West. This constantly pushes air along the equator and results in water being pushed away from the equator and towards both the Northern and Southern hemispheres. As the surface water is forced outwards from the equator, water from below rises up to take its place. This water is typically cold and full of nutrients.
Upwelling can also occur along coastlines. When wind blows south along the California coast, the friction along the surface of the water combined with the rotation of the Earth cause the surface water to be pushed out away from land. Again, deeper water comes to the surface bringing with it nutrients and cooler water temperatures. In some places, upwelling can even affect the weather. In places such as San Francisco, the cool water temperatures brought by upwelling can cause air temperatures to drop and result in even more dense fog.
The combination of the rotation of the Earth and the friction between the various layers of water, result in overall transportation of water by 90 degrees in a different direction than the wind. In the northern hemisphere, water is moved 90 degrees to the right and in the southern hemisphere the same affect results in water moving to the left. This process is called the Ekman transport.
For more information on the Ekman transport visit: http://oceanmotion.org/html/background/ocean-in-motion.htm
The Garibaldi, or Hypsypops rubicundus, is the official California state marine fish and is protected in Californian coastal waters. They are found in shallow water up to 100 ft in depth usually in rock reefs and rocky sea bottoms. This species of damselfish inhabits the waters of the Pacific Ocean from Monterey Bay, California to Baja, California along rocky coastal reefs and among kelp forests. They are especially common to the more southern Channel Islands.
Extremely visible by their bright orange coloration, adult fish may reach up to 15 inches in length. Juvenile garibaldi fish are yellow-orange with iridescent blue spots and which signify to adults in the area that they are not a threat. As they grow, the blue spots disappear until they are solid orange. These fish are not considered mature until five or six years old and are about eight inches long. They feed on various sponges, algae, and invertebrates including tubeworms, nudibranchs, and bryozoans.
Adult male garibaldi carefully construct circular nest sites about one foot in diameter in shallow reef habitats weeding out all organisms except for red algae. The more well-prepared and maintained the nests are, the more likely a female will choose that nest to deposit her eggs for fertilization by the hosting male. As soon as a female has laid her eggs, the male chases her away before she has the chance to munch on any other eggs in his nest. Once the eggs are fertilized, the male continues to guard the nest often warning divers of their close proximity with a loud thumping noises.