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Monday, May 9, 2016

Out in the cold


As yet another storm cell thunders over the Tehachapis, and once more I am begrudgingly confined to climate controlled sanctuary that is the Tejon Conservancy office, I find myself wondering how all our local wildlife is faring out there in the cold and wet. Certainly better than I would be, the conspicuously furless biped that can often be observed out on the ranch hurriedly bundling up at the first patter of drizzle or the first whisper of breeze. I have set up so many wildlife cameras in recent months, and have observed so much wildlife footage (I am basically the TMZ of the Tejon woods), that I cannot help but feel some absurdly misguided concern for the comfort of my feathered and fuzzy neighbors out there in these brutish elements. Of course our native wildlife are perfectly evolved to withstand the coldest snap of a California winter, just as they are right at home in the dry heat of summer.

However, as local weather patterns continue to unnaturally shift along with global climate, there is a legitimate concern over the ability of flora and fauna all over the world to adapt to and withstand increasingly divergent seasonal weather conditions. With that in mind, I’ve dug up some video of our local wildlife braving winter climes over the last few months. I am happy to report that, at least for now, everyone seems to be doing just peachy, particularly the family of pumas featured in the first video below, enjoying their pork dinner during a snow storm that makes my teeth chatter just staring at through my computer screen.

Check back next week on the blog for much more from these three cats as they feed on and protect their kill.
 
 
One of our troublesome wild pigs (Sus scofra) takes a sniff at a survey camera. The ear tag he is wearing is part of a long-term population study of wild pigs and their impacts to native ecology out on the ranch.
 
 
A large golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) has a drink on the snow burdened north slope of Tunis Ridge.
 
This mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) carefully makes her way across an ice covered upland spring.
 
A pair of striped skunks  (Mephitis mephitis) make their way down El Paso Creek
 
A bobcat (Lynx rufus) carefully avoids getting her feet wet as she makes her way to an overlook to survey the canyon.