Another extreme wildfire season is sweeping across our state. Once the fires are out and the smoke has cleared, Sierra Nevada forest managers will begin assessing whether, where, and how reforestation work will occur. Within the perimeters of recent fires, we are witness to larger and larger patches of high severity fire, as forests transition from past to current climate conditions. Across these post-fire landscapes, there is a clear need for a well-supported, science-based approach to management of burned forests. Read more
Image above: Plantation in Eldorado National Forest that completely burned in the 2015 King Fire.
Insectivorous bats are important predators in forest ecosystems and contribute to the health and diversity of the forest, consuming approximately their body weight in insects each night. They are highly mobile predators able to respond to changes in forest structure and burned conditions based on their echo-location calls and other physical traits. Bats in the forests of the Sierra Nevada evolved in ecosystems experiencing frequent fire. How these key predators respond to forest environments altered by fire suppression, increases in area burned, and climate change are the topics of three papers discussed here. Read more
Image above: Fringed myotis. Image by J. Scott Altenbach.
Bobcats can be found throughout most of California, in most habitats, although it avoids high elevation areas with deep snow, unlike the Canada lynx with its large snow-adapted paws. They prefer open prairie, shrub and chaparral vegetation types and the early forest stages of succession in low and mid-elevation conifer, oak, riparian, and pinyon-juniper woodlands and forests. Read more
Image right: Bobcat (Lynx rufus). Image by Annica Kreuter, Joshua Tree.
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"A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it does otherwise."