Science News

Calling all birders and community scientists! Between now and the end of July, we need your help observing nesting raptors in and around the Batiquitos Lagoon Ecological Reserve. This is a great opportunity to observe wildlife while helping scientists with important research and conservation work.  Read more.


From across a crowded pond...male frog calls give female frogs information about a potential mate. We’re continuing to study the California Red-legged Frog with the help of acoustic monitors that record their calls. Read more.


Climate change poses a serious threat to life in and around San Diego. Headline-grabbing natural disasters are obvious, but there are other more subtle—yet alarming—ways a warming climate is affecting wildlife in our region. Read more.


A recent court ruling blocked the proposed listing of four species of extremely rare bumblebees from being protected under the California Endangered Species Act. We have a few things to say about that. Read more.


Winter finally brings “sweater weather”—even though one might need to shed their layers by noon once the day heats up. The temperature changes also bring about changes in our regional wildlife. Learn more about the natural phenomena that occur each winter. Read more.


The monarch butterfly is in severe decline. Recent studies show the Western Monarch population, which overwinters here in southern California, has decreased by 99% with less than 30,000 butterflies remaining. With such critically low numbers, now is the time to take action. Read on to learn how to support monarch butterflies right now. Read more.


Becoming a Herpetologist

Posted: November 3, 2020

Herpetology Collections Manager Frank Santana shares how his childhood experiences in nature led to a career studying reptiles and amphibians. This is the first in a series of blog posts focused on protecting the endangered California red-legged frog from extinction. Read more.


Specimens collected in Antarctica have allowed a team of scientists, including Dr. Ashley Poust of The Nat, to update the fossil record of giant birds. The 50 million-year-old fossils belong to an extinct group of ocean-going birds with large tooth-like spikes in their beaks. This discovery may be the oldest example of truly giant flying birds and adds to our understanding of the evolution of coastal ecosystems worldwide. Read more.


This is Fall in San Diego

Posted: October 3, 2020

We may not have stereotypical “sweater weather” or the newsworthy autumnal color displays of the Midwest, but fall still brings change to San Diego. We may not notice, but plants and animals do. Look beyond your weather app to notice the natural phenomena this season has to offer. Read more.


A recent paper presents data about the first use of chickens for food in the state of California during the 1700s. At the San Diego Presidio, women may have been involved in small-scale husbandry of chickens to benefit their subsistence diet, as well as a possible source for barter or income. Zooarchaeologists used bones from our collection as points of comparison in their research. Read more.