The Conservation Science Program of the Conservancy's California Chapter ensures that the Chapter's initiatives have robust scientific foundations to achieve the greatest possible outcomes for conservation in California and beyond.

Recent Reports

Publication/Data: A picture is worth a thousand data points: an imagery dataset of paired shrub… (2016)

A picture is worth a thousand data points: an imagery dataset of paired shrub-open microsites within the Carrizo Plain National Monument

Camera traps allow for continuous non-intrusive surveying of study sites, allowing researchers to capture animal behaviors and plant-animal interactions that would be difficult to do using human observation alone. In September 2016, a Conservancy scientist and partners published a paper in GigaScience (open) that presents camera trap data comprising over 425,000 images from the Carrizo Plain National Monument (San Joaquin Desert, California, USA). This unique collection of digital images from the San Joaquin Desert was captured by researchers from York University, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, and the Conservancy, who were investigating the role shrub species play in the survival of endangered species like the blunt-nosed leopard lizard (Gambelia sila). A 248 Gb dataset, hosted on GigaDB, is open and available for other researchers to use.

Report: Pajaro Compass (June 2016 )

In 2015-2016, The Nature Conservancy led a diverse group of over 50 stakeholders representing conservation, agriculture, transportation, government and community interests with the goal of creating a common conservation vision for the Pajaro River watershed in central California. The result of that work, Pajaro Compass, supports a committed group of partners who champion the many values of the Pajaro River watershed for people and nature and, through coordinated action, ensure that agricultural and open space lands support these values in balance with new opportunities. The Pajaro Compass network, report, and map tools provide a dynamic gateway for landowners and managers, public agencies, conservation organizations, funders, and elected officials to learn, connect, and engage in efforts to maintain a healthy and productive Pajaro River watershed.

Map Gallery

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The New Yorker: Scientist Scott Butterfield introduces reporter to the giant kangaroo rat (Oct 08, 2015)

"Although I fear and despise nearly all rodents, I was smitten with this one. I longed to see a live one, bounding on across its native land." - Ryan Bradley, The New Yorker

California’s Freshwater Blueprint (Jun 16, 2015)

New map highlights key freshwater species and areas of high conservation value based on where these species occur.

New science publications by staff (May 16, 2015)

Check out our scientists' new publications over the past 6 months

Hope Runs Deep: Conservation Solutions for Salmon in Shasta Valley (Oct 28, 2014)

New interactive Story Map illustrates conservation solutions that are working for nature and people

New Publications: July - September 2014 (Oct 28, 2014)

Check out our scientists' recent publications covering remote sensing, salmon stream restoration, grasslands conversion, climate change impacts on ecosystems, and more.