Organized by Paul Licht, Professor Emeritus Integrative Biology
The tortoise is on a new race for its life
Tim Gregory, Research Associate, UC Botanical Gardens at Berkeley
Tuesday, October 20, 2020, 2 pm via Zoom
Turtles and tortoises are neck-and-neck with primates as the most endangered vertebrate group. Approximately 2/3 of turtle species are threatened with extinction. The presentation will introduce you to these charming creatures and the threats to their continued existence. Then it will describe the Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) an organization that functions globally, directly, in partnership with other conservation organizations, and always in close collaboration with local researchers and communities. The result has been protection, performance of critical research, enhancement of populations, training and support of the next generation of turtle biologists in less developed countries, and ultimately the reestablishment of species that were extinct in the wild. These results will be exemplified by stories from some of our almost uniformly successful field programs.
Stability or Collapse of Bird and Mammal Communities over the past Century in California’s Most Transformed Landscapes
Steven R. Beissinger, Professor of Ecology & Conservation Biology, and Miller Research Professor (2020-2021)
Tuesday, October 27, 2020 2 pm via Zoom
Linking California’s highly variable climates, land-uses, and levels of change over the past century with historical resurveys – where biodiversity surveys from the past are resampled – provides important opportunities to understand the influence of 20th century environmental change on biodiversity. Professor Beissinger will report on a study to resurvey locations throughout California that CAL Professor Joseph Grinnell and colleagues in the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology originally surveyed for birds and mammals in the early 20th century. He will focus on changes to communities from recent research in California’s most transformed landscapes: (1) the Mojave Desert where climate change has made an extreme environment hotter and drier; and (2) Los Angeles and the Central Valley, where urbanization and agriculture have transformed land-use over the past century.