Climate Smart Solutions for Grassland Birds: Conservation Ranching California

Climate Smart Solutions for Grassland Birds: Conservation Ranching California

Thursday June 15, 2023 —  7 p.m. 

Location: In-person at the Tamalpais Room, David Brower Center (2150 Allston Way Berkeley, CA) and Zoom

Grassland bird conservation is inextricably linked to management practices on millions of acres of rangelands, the vast majority of which are privately owned. Significant rangeland habitat enhancement can only be achieved through cooperative approaches that work with ranchers that live and work on these lands. Audubon’s Conservation Ranching Program uses an innovative, market-based approach to connect conservation-conscious consumers to ranchers who employ bird-friendly management practices in raising their livestock. The program addresses loss in ecosystem function and health through the conservation of focal bird species and the habitat they depend upon. It incentivizes bird-friendly livestock management practices, emphasizing regenerative grazing approaches that improve soil health, diversify habitat structure, and ensure environmental sustainability that benefits pollinators and other grassland wildlife

Here are some links to program specifics:




About Our Speakers

Matt Allshouse came to Audubon California from Wyoming and has been the Conservation Ranching Program Manager for the state since September 2019. As a rangeland ecologist, he has 15 years of experience associated with land policy, management, and science. Previously, Matt served as Ranch Manager for Antelope Springs Land and Cattle in Wyoming, as a Biologist for the Peregrine Fund in Belize and Guatemala directing conservation field research, and as Ecologist with the consulting firm Trihydro Corporation focusing on restoration ecology. Matt holds a dual Bachelor’s degree in Environment and Natural Resources, and Rangeland Ecology and Watershed Management from University of Wyoming.

Pelayo Alvarez works as the Director of the Conservation Ranching Program in California. Before joining Audubon Pelayo worked for the Carbon Cycle Institute where he helped establish carbon farming programs across California. Pelayo has experience working with the ranching community, government agencies, academia and other stakeholders on rangeland conservation initiatives including the development of programs to incentivize good stewardship practices on rangelands. Pelayo also worked for Defenders of Wildlife as the Conservation Program Director for the California Rangeland Conservation Coalition where he coordinated research and outreach activities. Pelayo also teaches Rangeland Ecology and Management at American River College in Sacramento. His previous work experience includes positions at UC Davis, The World Bank and The Nature Conservancy. He has a bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine from Universidad de Leon (Spain), a MS degree in Animal Science from Oklahoma State University and a PhD in Ecology from UC Davis.…

Pushing Back Plants: The Invasive Spartina Project

Pushing Back Plants: The Invasive Spartina Project

San Francisco Bay is more than just the geographic feature that defines our region, it is a major global biodiversity hotspot. The largest estuary on the west coast of North America, it is a critical stopover along the Pacific Flyway migration route for millions of shorebirds and waterfowl. At a time when the world’s biodiversity is under increasing pressure, we have a golden opportunity to protect the treasure at the heart of the Bay Area. Rimming the Bay between freeways, airports, and landfills remain precious tidal wetlands and opportunities to return salt evaporator ponds to functioning ecosystems. After more than a century of destruction, restoration projects are reversing the trend. However, restoring these saltwater marshes may be for naught if we cannot stop another threat that we unleashed in the last century. Atlantic cordgrass planted to stabilize dredge spoils in the 1970s has since hybridized with Pacific cordgrass to create a highly fertile hybrid swarm that crowds out native marsh vegetation and colonizes mudflats to the detriment of foraging shorebirds. Since 2005, the Coastal Conservancy’s Invasive Spartina Project has used airboats, genetic testing, sophisticated GIS, and a lot of hard, muddy work to push back the invasive plants that threaten habitat for shorebirds, waterfowl, and the endangered salt marsh harvest mouse. Learn about how hometown heroes are doing their part to address the global biodiversity crisis.

About Our Speakers

Tobias Rohmer is the Monitoring Program Manager for the San Francisco Estuary Invasive Spartina Project and works for Olofson Environmental, Inc. Tobias studied at UC Davis, where he did his Master’s thesis on California Ridgway’s rails, which included substantial field work and monitoring in SF Bay marshes with USGS and other partners. Each year after field season, Tobias travels worldwide to pursue his passion for birdwatching, most recently to Belize, Ecuador, Thailand, and Madagascar.

Lindsay Faye Domecus is an Environmental Biologist at Olofson Environmental Inc. She started at OEI in 2017 after finishing her Master’s degree in Environmental Science at San Francisco State University, where she studied environmental physiology. At OEI, Lindsay works extensively in the tidal marshes of the San Francisco Estuary mapping native and invasive plants, conducting breeding season surveys for California Ridgway’s rail, planning and managing marsh revegetation projects, and overseeing treatment of invasive Spartina. Lindsay also has a flair for artistic design and has produced several excellent music videos documenting the beauty of the San Francisco Estuary as discovered through her daily field work.…

A World on the Wing: The Global Odyssey of Migratory Birds

A World on the Wing: The Global Odyssey of Migratory Birds

Featuring Scott Weidensaul 

Thursday, February 16 —  6 p.m. via Zoom

Scientists continue to make astounding discoveries about the navigational and physiological feats that enable migratory birds to cross immense oceans or fly above the highest mountains, go weeks without sleep or remain in unbroken flight for months at a stretch. Scott Weidensaul, author of A World on the Wing(2021), takes us around the globe — with researchers in the lab probing the limits of what migrating birds can do, to the shores of the Yellow Sea in China, the remote mountains of northeastern India where tribal villages saved the greatest gathering of falcons on the planet, and the Mediterranean, where activists and police are battling bird poachers — to learn how people are fighting to understand and save the world’s great bird migrations.

About Our Presenter

Scott Weidensaul’s field research focuses on bird migration. He is a co-director of Project Owlnet, a collaborative effort among over 100 banding and research stations across North America studying owl migration. Weidensaul co-founded Project SNOWstorm, which uses cutting-edge tracking technology to study Snowy Owls, and is a founder of the Critical Connections project, which is
tracking the migration of birds that breed on National Park lands in Alaska. He is also part of a continental effort to understand the rapid evolution, by several species of western hummingbirds, of a new migratory route and wintering range in the East. He co-founded the Northeast Motus Collaboration, which is creating a network of nearly 150 automated telemetry receivers across the mid-Atlantic region and New England to track the movements of bats, insects and small birds.

Zoom Info

Link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/84001228049?pwd=T0QrdTVOUlVKeE9NRkVSOSszNEltQT09
Passcode: 066785

This event recording is  available (for three weeks).

Thanks to the following groups for sponsoring this event:

Ohlone Audubon, Marin Audubon, San Joaquin Audubon, Sequoia Audubon and Santa Clara Valley Audubon.…

Nature’s Best Hope

Nature’s Best Hope

Featuring Doug Tallamy

Wednesday, January 11 —  7 p.m. via Zoom

Recent headlines about global insect declines and three billion fewer birds in North America are a bleak reality check about how ineffective our current landscape designs have been at sustaining the plants and animals that sustain us. To create landscapes that enhance local ecosystems rather than degrade them, we must 1 remove the invasives on our property and 2) add the native plant communities that sustain food webs, sequester carbon, maintain diverse native bee communities, and manage our watersheds. If we do this in half of the area now in lawn, we can create Homegrown National Park, a 20 million acre network of viable habitats that will provide vital corridors connecting the few natural areas that remain. This approach to conservation empowers everyone to play a significant role in the future of the natural world.

About our Presenter

Doug Tallamy is the T. A. Baker Professor of Agriculture in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, where he has authored 106 research publications and has taught insect related courses for 41 years. Chief among his research goals is to better understand the many ways insects interact with plants and how such interactions determine the diversity of animal communities. His books include Bringing Nature Home, The Living Landscape, co-authored with Rick Darke, Nature’s Best Hope, a New York Times Best Seller, The Nature of Oaks, winner of the American Horticultural Society’s 2022 book award. In 2021 he co-founded Homegrown National Park with Michelle Alfandari. His awards include recognition from The Garden Writers Association, Audubon, The National Wildlife Federation, Allegheny College, The Garden Club of America
and The American Horticultural Association.

Thanks to the following groups for sponsoring this event:

Ohlone Audubon, Marin Audubon, Sequoia Audubon and Santa Clara Valley Audubon, Napa-Solano Audubon.…