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This weekend we’re leading a trip to Mori Point to search for the the San Francisco Garter Snake and the California Red-legged Frog: the perfect opportunity for you to see at least one of these species and compete in the GGNP Endangered Species Big Year. See you outside!

Saturday, July 24, 2010, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. — Join Brent Plater of the Wild Equity Institute to search for two of the most imperiled vertebrate species on the San Francisco peninsula: the California red-legged frog and the San Francisco garter snake. This will be a leisurely walk to enjoy the restoration work being conducted at Mori Point and to learn about the bold steps being taken to save both species from the brink of extinction. RSVP Required: please use this website to RSVP. Rain or Shine. Meet at the Mori Point Trailhead, Pacifica, CA, 94044. Take the Sharp Park exit off Hwy. 1 and continue south on Bradford Way about 0.5 mile to the gate/trailhead at Mori Point Rd. Roadside parking is limited; carpooling is encouraged. Samtrans buses #110 and #112 stop nearby.

This week the GGNP Endangered Species Big Year is offering two trips to see and help save the Park’s endangered species: one in San Mateo County and one in San Francisco. Hope to see you outside!

Marin-dwarf Flax

Marin-dwarf Flax Blooming in San Mateo County!?!— June 19, 2010, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.: Here’s a great opportunity to see the Marin Dwarf-flax blooming: in San Mateo County! Join the Edgwood Weed Warriors at Edgewood County Park & Nature Preserve to see this diminutive wildflower in bloom. Despite the specie’s name, San Mateo is part of its natural range, and a part of Edgewood is also within the Golden Gate National Parks legislative boundary. While there you can pitch-in and pull weeds to help restore the entire nature preserve. Please note that this activity counts as a sighting, but not as a restoration action item for the Endangered Species Big Year competition. Meet at Edgewood’s West Kiosk; from there we’ll walk to the restoration site. RSVP required: please e-mail Drew Shell. For more details click here.

California Seablite

California Seablite Habitat Restoration— Saturday, June 19, 2010, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.: Join Michael Chassé of the National Park Service to restore Crissy Field Marsh and create habitat for reintroduction of the endangered California Seablite. This satisfies the GGNP Endangered Species Big Year conservation action item for the species. Meet at the Presidio Transit Center, 215 Lincoln Blvd at Graham Street, San Francisco, CA 94129, across from the Fire Station and near the Presidio Main Post. RSVP: Call 415-561-2857 or email michael_chasse[at]nps[dot]gov.

This weekend we’re leading a trip to Mori Point to search for the the San Francisco Garter Snake and the California Red-legged Frog: the perfect opportunity for you to see at least one of these species and win a copy of Last Child In the Woods. See you outside!

Thanks to REI’s generous support of the 2010 GGNP Endangered Species Big Year, we are happy to bring you a new interim Big Year competition to win nature prizes during the month of June!

From June 1 until June 30, any 2010 Golden Gate National Parks Endangered Species Big Year competitor that (1) completes the action item for the San Francisco Garter Snake; (2) completes the action item for the California Red-legged Frog, and (3) sees at least one of these two herpetological species will win a free copy of Richard Louv’s seminal book, Last Child In the Woods: Saving Our Chidren From Nature-deficit Disorder.

To win the prize you must sign-up for the GGNP Endangered Species Big Year, complete the action items for the San Francisco Garter Snake and the California Red-legged Frog, see either the Frog or the Snake, and log your actions and sighting into the GGNP Endangered Species Big Year website by 11:59:59 p.m. on June 30, 2010.

Remember, the action item for the San Francisco Garter Snake is to help Restore Sharp Park by contacting the San Francisco Board of Supervisors & the Mayor and asking them to restore Sharp Park!

The action item for the California Red-legged Frog is to volunteer with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy to restore habitat for the frog at Mori Point!

And both species may be seen during this weekend’s June 5, 10 a.m. Big Year trip to Mori Point!

Good luck and see you outside!

Thanks to REI’s generous support of the 2010 GGNP Endangered Species Big Year, we are happy to announce our next reward for seeing and saving endangered species!

This competition focuses on the Tiburon Paintbrush, a beautiful little wildflower that can only be seen in a few select places within the Golden Gate National Parks. It was likely always rare, but habitat modification in its remaining strongholds threatens the viability of the species.

And that’s where you come in: the first four people to help save the Tiburon Paintbrush by completing the conservation action item for the species will win a copy of John Muir Laws’ new Pocket Guide Set to the San Francisco Bay Area!

Tiburon Paintbrush       Laws Guide to SF Bay
      

The Pocket Guide Set includes four user-friendly foldout field guides that are small enough to tote along in a pocket, yet durable enough to weather abuse at the bottom of any backpack. Each fold out covers a different Bay Area ecotype so you’ll have quick access to the plants and animals in the habitat you visit.

To win the prize you must be one of the first four competitors to sign-up for the GGNP Endangered Species Big Year, complete the action item for the Tiburon Paintbrush, and log your action into the GGNP Endangered Species Big Year Tiburon Paintbrush website.

LONGTIME COMPETITORS: PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS COMPETITION IS RESTRICTED TO NEW BIG YEAR COMPETITORS FOR 2010. IF YOU COMPETED IN 2008 YOU ARE INELIGIBLE FOR THIS PRIZE.

Good luck and see you outside!

This week you’ll get one more chance to see the Mission Blue Butterfly with last year’s Big Year co-champion Liam O’Brien. With the recent sighting of a Mission Blue mud-puddling for reproductive success, this may be your best chance to see the species yet! Plus you can bend O’Brien’s ear for some tips on winning the Big Year. See you outside!

Big Year Competitor Molly Latimer Spots a Mission Blue

Participants in last weekend’s GGNP Endangered Species Big Year Mission Blue Butterfly hike got a rare and scientifically important treat: they not only saw a Mission Blue, but also watched it engage in a behavior not previously proven to occur in the subspecies.

Mission Blue Butterfly Mud-puddling in the GGNP

The rare butterfly was seen “mud-puddling” from the SCA trail in Marin County. Mud-puddling occurs when butterflies congregate on moist soils or other substrates to obtain nutrients, such as amino acids and salts. These nutrients are believed to help the butterflies reproduce: males that mud-puddle tend to increase their reproductive success, if only because they sometimes transfer the nutrients to the female while mating as a nuptial gift! We’re glad to see one of the rarest butterflies in the GGNP finding new ways to gain a reproductive edge.

Although other members of the genus were known to mud-puddle, it was unclear if Mission Blue Butterflies engaged in this behavior: butterfly experts had debated this point. The new observation with photographs provides evidence of mud-puddling in this subspecies.

To find out how you can see and help save the Mission Blue and the 35 other endangered species at the Golden Gate National Parks, click here to sign-up for your GGNP Endangered Species Big Year!

Remember, participants must follow the Big Year’s ethical principles. This butterfly was seen from the SCA trail, not off of it, so participants on last weekend’s trip can count the sighting as they compete for the GGNP Endangered Species Big Year’s grand prize!

This week get outside and search for the Mission Blue Butterfly with last year’s Big Year co-champion Liam O’Brien. With the recent sighting of a Mission Blue mud-puddling for reproductive success, this may be your best chance to see the species yet! Plus you can bend O’Brien’s ear for some tips on winning the Big Year. See you outside!

This weekend we offer another opportunity to try and find the elusive endangered sea creatures of the Golden Gate National Parks, this time while doing some habitat restoration for non-Big Year species that call the Park home:

  • Sea Watch and Habitat Restoration, February 20, 2010, 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.: Help protect and preserve the California coastline while listening for the howls of Stellar Sea Lions just off Point Lobos. With incredible views of the Farallon Islands, it’s also possible to catch a glimpse of the Southern Sea Otter and Humpback Whale! Join Alex Hooker of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy at Lands End to help cleanup the beaches and plant native species. Dress in warm layers, wear sturdy shoes and bring lots of friends! We provide snacks, tools and gloves. Meeting spot is the trailhead at the Lands End parking lot. RSVP Required—click here to do so.

Announcing the 2010 GGNP Endangered Species Big Year!

The 2010 Golden Gate National Parks Endangered Species Big Year begins January 1, 2010! Celebrate the incredible diversity of life around you by participating in the 2010 GGNP Endangered Species Big Year Kick-off Celebration on January 9, 2010 at 1pm at the Sports Basement in the Presidio. We’ll present a short description of this year’s competition, enjoy some complimentary drinks and snacks, and then take a short hike to search for the Western Snowy Plover at the Crissy Field Wildlife Protection Area.