December 30, 2020

Regarding pelagic species... (and birds)

This is primarily from a comment relating to what kinds of animal observations the California Natural Diversity Database is keenly interested in ( Because of their high mobility, birds and pelagic species present some issues in mapping areas of conservation interest.

" is difficult to map pelagic species. The CNDDB is primarily interested in what is called an Element Occurrence under the NatureServe Natural Heritage Methodology, something started by The Nature Conservancy around 1979. An Element Occurrence should represent a regularly occurring, reproducing population. Additionally, since the Department is interested in "managing" these species at specific sites, the ocean can present an issue (though there are Marine Reserves specifically for these reasons). The short is, that we primarily focus on terrestrial species or areas where pelagic species regularly hual-out or nest on terra firma, like Steller sea lion breeding rookeries or Ashy strom-petrel nest sites. These are "manageable" sites that help protect a significant ecological life history trait (i.e. reproduction). So, whereas we track particular species, in some cases we are primarily interested in observations relating to evidence of reproduction, especially for birds (highly mobile, like pelagic fish). Probably one of the most common pelagic species on iNat is [California] Brown Pelican, but I have yet to see a posted observation of nesting BRPE (granted, I haven't searched, but I see a bazillion posts of BRPEs). It's kind of hard to "manage" for a fly-over bird, similarly it might be hard to manage a school of anchovies."

For more info, please see our plant and animal information page,, and our data submission page,

Posted on December 30, 2020 03:00 by cnddb_brian cnddb_brian | 0 comments | Leave a comment

December 07, 2018

Legless lizards of California

The California Natural Diversity Database has been working on updating all of our records of legless lizards (Anniella) from Antioch to the Tijuana River Valley. Now would be a great time to upload your past observations to iNaturalist or make some new ones and make sure to share them with us by joining our CNDDB iNat project.

Just in case you need some inspiration!

Posted on December 07, 2018 20:59 by cnddb_brian cnddb_brian | 3 comments | Leave a comment

October 26, 2018

Recent changes

We recently (in Oct 2018) made some changes to this project in hopes of getting accurate location information we can use for the CNDDB. Now anyone can add observations to this project, provided they are observations made within California of one of the species we track.

Since our database tracks special-status species, nearly all the organisms we are interested in have their coordinates obscured from other users. We are requesting iNat users join the CNDDB project and agree to share their precise coordinates with our database.

Posted on October 26, 2018 22:56 by ryan_elliott ryan_elliott | 0 comments | Leave a comment