La Kretz Center for California Conservation Science
FROM THE MAGAZINE
Ten UCLA student conservation projects funded through the La Kretz Center/Stunt Ranch Reserve Small Grant Program
The UCLA La Kretz Center for California Conservation Science and the UC Natural Reserve System Stunt Ranch Santa Monica Mountains Reserve are pleased to announce this year’s grant recipients for our competitive research awards. Our ten awardees, working on projects ranging from urban lizards to invasive algae to endangered tricolored blackbirds, each contribute to our...
Clothing Color May Affect Local Animal Behavior
It has long been established that even the most innocuous of human activities can impact animal behavior. From birds mimicking phone ringtones to grins triggering aggressive responses from primates, people often have a greater impact on animal behavior than they realize. Now, a recently published UCLA study on local western fence lizards (Sceloporus occidentalis) has...
The search for the Southern rubber boa
High in the San Jacinto Mountains about 100 miles east of Los Angeles, a secret slithers. Uncovering it takes watchful eyes, long nights and perseverance. But for UCLA’s Jesse Grismer, the opportunity to track down a rare Southern rubber boa has been worth the wait. His search for the elusive creature wasn’t just a scavenger hunt...
La Kretz Center breaks ground for new building at Field Station
Say goodbye to our old (and definitely on its last legs) garage. On September 29, the La Kretz Center broke ground for a new accessory structure at its Field Station in the Santa Monica Mountains. The new building will provide us with 1300 square feet of dedicated research space, overnight accommodations for field researchers, and...
Experts discuss 100 years of change, look toward future of National Parks
Malibuites were treated to an engaging presentation April 23 during Pepperdine: Our National Parks at 100: Confronting Change and Committing to Science, presented by UCLA La Kretz Center for California Conservation Science in collaboration with Pepperdine University.
Study by La Kretz postdoc finds that anthropogenic nitrogen deposition may contribute to nonnative plant invasion
A paper published by La Kretz postdoc Justin Valliere after a 5-year study found that nitrogen deposition may increase native shrub loss and subsequent plant invasion during extreme droughts in the Santa Monica Mountains.
Nature springs to life after wet winter
After five years of excruciating drought, California’s wildlife finally has a reason to celebrate. The surge in moisture has stirred UCLA conservation biologists who monitor wildlife in the mountains around Los Angeles, the White Mountains and the Sierra Nevada further north.
Smithsonian magazine: Surprising reason the turtle learned to hide its head
“Given that there are only two neck vertebrae, they’re doing an awful lot of reconstructing,” said Brad Shaffer, an evolutionary biologist at UCLA not involved in the new study. However, he adds that the theory will hopefully spark more discussion in the field of turtle research.
Study designed in La Kretz Center workshop included in Conservation Biology’s top papers list
UCLA research on the role of behavioral ecology in improving wildlife conservation and management was cited as one of the most popular papers in a top science journal. “A systematic survey of the integration of animal behavior into conservation,” co-authored by Dan Blumstein, a member of the IoES, was named one of the top five most accessed papers...
New book co-authored by Brad Shaffer covers conservation risks faced by sensitive California species
One of the most important hotspots of biodiversity in the United States, California is home to many native amphibians and reptiles found nowhere else on earth. Climate change impacts, human development, and extreme drought mean these unique species face an ever-greater risk of extinction. Published in association with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, California Amphibian and...
Brad Shaffer – “Biodiversity in 2050 L.A.”
Los Angeles ranks among the world’s top 40 biodiversity hotspots—it has a diverse range of species, many of which are under threat. Making this metropolis a living laboratory of native and non-native species is the bold idea of ecologist Brad Shaffer, head of La Kretz Center for California Conservation Science. If we can protect California...
The future for wildlife in a revitalized L.A. River
Will the restored waterway once again be a habitat for native fish and plants? A UCLA La Kretz Center expert weighs in