Executive Director's Blog

News & Updates on the Conservancy

High wire act

On the Conservancy’s flagship preserve, a couple of daredevil raccoons have scaled and occupied a lookout post that looks a little dangerous to us. Are they sentries for others? Afraid of an “alpha” in their tribe? Banished from their tribe? Or just pl… Continue Reading High wire act


In this photo, we show the perfect situation for water’s edge vegetation management. The photo, taken today on the Conservancy’s flagship preserve, shows goats grazing on bankside vegetation. Why I said “perfect” in the lead for this post has to do wit… Continue Reading Chewy

A remarkable find

(May 9, 2019) Species covered by the Natomas Basin Habitat Conservation Plan (NBHCP) such as the Giant garter snake were abundant in 2018. In this instance, four Giant garter snakes (Thamnophis gigas) were spotted in rocked spillway on a Conservancy ma… Continue Reading A remarkable find

In suspension

View an enlarged image of a Giant garter snake

(April 26, 2019) Giant garter snakes are known to be elusive. They never “pose” for a photo. They are “escape artists,” especially when approached. The photos we most often see of them are taken as they are swimming away in a marsh or wetland, quickly… Continue Reading In suspension

The plan comes together!


(April 18, 2019) Discovery of the year: Swainson’s hawk nest found in a Conservancy-planted tree complex! In 2003, the Conservancy planted 30 cottonwood trees on one of its interior Natomas Basin preserves, hoping that at least 15 would survive and end… Continue Reading The plan comes together!

The Governah says so

(May 21, 2018) Cal-IPC’s Spring 2018 magazine (“Dispatch”) revealed a list from the Western Governor’s Association that caught our eye. Listed as the number one worst invasive species by the Western Governor’s Association in the category of aquatics is… Continue Reading The Governah says so

Creepy eyes

(May 18, 2018) Sometimes we get questions about the strange appearance of the eyes of some of the Giant garter snakes we feature in Conservancy media. Some say it looks like something out of a horror film (AKA “scary movie”). It normally looks like a f… Continue Reading Creepy eyes

Big gulp

(May 7, 2018)  When we’re asked what the Giant garter snakes eat, we always respond by saying mosquito fish and tadpoles and similar small aquatic organisms. And, after nearly two decades of observing the Giant garter snake on Conservancy preserves, we… Continue Reading Big gulp

More rain, please

(April 23, 2018) The results for the 2017 Biological Effectiveness Monitoring Program on Conservancy preserves are in. Here, a focus on the Swainson’s hawk. In 2016, there were 43 successful nests and 63 fledged. In 2017, there were 49 successful nests… Continue Reading More rain, please

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