habitat

Santa Mountains Old-Growth. Photo by Paolo Vescia

Conservation Success in the Santa Cruz Mountains

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Today, I’m pleased to announce another redwoods conservation success in the Santa Cruz Mountains! Save the Redwoods League and our Living Landscape Initiative (LLI) partner, Sempervirens Fund, have protected an old-growth gem with tremendous potential for public access. The Van Continued

(c) 2012 National Geographic

Large Old Trees at Risk

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Open up the current issue of National Geographic to see photos of an incredible giant sequoia and the phenomenal diversity of plants and animals that live with this redwood in the forest. On the backside of the fold-out photograph of Continued

Humboldt Marten.

Redwood Forest Restoration and Martens

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Martens are agile, 2-foot-long members of the weasel family. They need ancient forests—and used to thrive in the coast redwoods of California. Today the Humboldt marten, the coastal subspecies of the Pacific marten in California, has vanished from more than 95 percent of its former range. A single population of about 100 remains on the coastal edge of the Six Rivers National Forest, roughly between Crescent City and Arcata. Learn more about this research.

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Photo courtesy Save the Redwoods League

Amphibian Populations Predict Forest Health

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In a forest of towering redwoods, the small creatures scurrying underfoot and splashing into streambeds sometimes go unnoticed as visitors crane their necks toward distant treetops. We should look down, though, say researchers from the Redwood Sciences Laboratory, who visited several state parks to study the ecosystems that surround and support those mighty trees. Researchers Garth Hodgson and Hartwell Welsh pay particular attention to tiny amphibians such as frogs, salamanders, newts in redwood forests, because published studies suggest they are indicators of forest health. Learn more about this research.

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Photo by Julie Martin

Bigger and Older Often Means Better Habitat

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Traditionally we think of forest conservation as protection of large areas of land. Is it possible, though, that just one tree could benefit an ecosystem enough to warrant individual protection? Mary Jo Mazurek and William Zielinski report evidence that suggests legacy old-growth redwoods can do just that. Learn more about this research.

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Big brown bat. Photo by Don Pfitzer, USFWS

Bats in Giant Sequoias

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Prior to this study, little was known about the bat community in Yosemite’s three giant sequoia groves and virtually nothing was known about how bats use the canopy in any of the Parks’ forests. Dr. Elizabeth Pierson, Dr. William Rainey, and Leslie Chow carried out major research to study bat roosting behavior in fire-scarred hollows at the base of sequoia trees, bat feeding behavior in association with a variety of habitats, and bat activity in the giant sequoia canopy. In addition, they combined observations from this study and others to describe the natural history of Yosemite’s 18 bat species. Learn more about this research.

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Humboldt Marten.

Humboldt Martens Need Old Growth

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It’s likely that Pacific fisher (Martes pennanti pacifica) populations are well distributed in Northern California’s Redwood National and State Parks (RNSP) for the same reason that Humboldt martens (Martes americana humboldtensis) have disappeared, according to research done by Keith Slauson, William Zielinski, and Gregory Holm. Second-growth forest habitats that cover a majority of the park are fishers’ sweet and martens’ sour. Learn more about this research.

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