Sunday, July 10, 2011

Napa Valley: Endangered Species and Species-of-Concern

From 2011-07 "Activist News" newsletter compiled by John Stephens:
A Biological Resource Survey report in the Davidowski/Soda Canyon Vineyard file shows a map of endangered species within a five-mile radius of the new vineyard. Within the red lined, five-mile circle the Foothill Yellow-Legged Frog [Rana boylii] is listed on Hopper Creek running through the town of Yountville. It is normally found in streams in stretches free of predatory fish in the Sierra foothills, hence the name. The map also showed them in a Carneros district creek.

Adult Foothill Yellow-Legged Frog, Butte County © 2005 Jackson Shedd

 [John Stephens writes]:
I am the unhappy owner of a small over-indebted house in the Alta Heights neighborhood. The tenant called me up one Saturday and told me a large limb had fallen in the front yard from a Silk Tree. I rushed over to find that a 4' limb had broken off from a dead branch. Half of the branch was still on the tree, but it had a new woodpecker hole in it. Deadwood is very scarce around human habitation, and woodpecker homes are rare.
We tend to think that deadwood is only good for firewood and should be cut down immediately, like weeds. I was so excited. The tenant said she looked down in it with a flashlight and two bright but worried eyes looked back at her. She said the neighborhood cats were very interested in the hole so I immediately went to the hardware store and put an 18" aluminum flashing around the tree so the cats couldn't get up into the tree.
Now there are happy eyes in the tree.

Acorn Woodpecker in Inverness, Marin County, California. Photo 2010-12-07 by Jim Coda []

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