Environmental News

A curated set of environmental news stories brought to you by the Gottlieb Native Garden team.


Diane Shader Smith

An Indigenous Effort to Return Condors to the Pacific Northwest Nears Its Goal

The Yurok Tribe plans to soon reintroduce North America’s largest bird to northern California, where the raptor hasn’t soared for a century.

New Tea Tree Oil Fungicide Becomes Available for California Growers

A new tea tree oil fungicide is now available to California growers after hitting the market a few weeks ago. Summit Agro’s Timerex Act was officially registered in California in the middle of October.  The new fungicide is available for a variety of different crops. Summit Agro Field R&D Manager, Eric Tedford said that it is a pretty unique chemistry that can offer a variety of benefits.

Hardcore Natural History Series — Small But Mighty: Monarch Butterfly Migration and Overwintering with Jessica Griffiths

Every fall, thousands of monarch butterflies migrate to Monterey County from all across the western United States to spend the winter clustering together at special overwintering sites. But how do they get here?

To save threatened plants and animals, restore habitat on farms, ranches and other working lands

Restoring native habitats to at least 20% of the world’s land currently being used by humans for farming, ranching and forestry is necessary to protect biodiversity and slow species loss, according to a newly published study conducted by a team of environmental scientists including us. 

Magnificent African Songbird Turning Heads Invading Nest in Southern California

During mating season, the male pin-tailed whydah’s tail can grow to three times its body length, giving it one of the most striking appearances of any wild bird in Southern California.  However, this beautiful African songbird shouldn’t even be in SoCal. 

Monarchs, bees use cultivated milkweeds as much as wild ones

Monarch butterflies and bee species use ornamental milkweed plants — the kind sold at garden centers — just as much as they use native plants, researchers found.

Kids’ Corner: Pollinator Party

Outreach coordinator for the California Native Plant Society, Elizabeth Kubey gives families some fun, engaging activities to do with kids while teaching them about the importance of pollinators and how they help our native plants bloom.  It’s never too early to start!

Legal Agreement Protects California Wildlife Corridor for Santa Ana Mountain Lions

California conservation groups approved a legal agreement this week that will protect a critical wildlife corridor for local mountain lions and other wildlife, fund restoration efforts and ensure implementation of a regional conservation plan. 

Boo-tany Plant Trivia

Gather your friends and colleagues for a night of trivia all about California’s biodiverse plants and habitats! Join the Zoom session promptly to have a better chance of being crowned champion at the end of the night. 

Why bird brains are more brilliant than anyone suspected

Although bird brains are tiny, they’re packed with neurons, especially in areas responsible for higher level thinking. Two studies published last month in Science explore the structure and function of avian brains—revealing they are organized similarly to mammals’  and are capable of conscious thought.