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Grantham T.E.,University of California at Berkeley | Fesenmyer K.A.,Trout Unlimited Boise | Peek R.,University of California at Davis | Holmes E.,University of California at Davis | And 6 more authors.
Conservation Letters | Year: 2016

Population growth and increasing water-use pressures threaten California's freshwater ecosystems and have led many native fishes to the brink of extinction. To guide fish conservation efforts, we provide the first systematic prioritization of river catchments and identify those that disproportionately contribute to fish taxonomic diversity. Using high-resolution range maps of exceptional quality, we also assess the representation of fish taxa within the state's protected areas and examine the concordance of high-priority catchments with existing reserves and among distinct taxonomic groups. Although most of the state's native fishes are found within protected areas, only a small proportion of their ranges are represented. Few high-priority catchments occur within protected areas, suggesting that fish conservation will require active management and targeted river restoration outside of reserves. These results provide the foundation for systematic freshwater conservation planning in California and for prioritizing where limited resources are allocated for fish recovery and protection. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Reiter M.E.,Point Blue Conservation Science 3820 Cypress Drive and 11 Petaluma | Elliott N.,Point Blue Conservation Science 3820 Cypress Drive and 11 Petaluma | Veloz S.,Point Blue Conservation Science 3820 Cypress Drive and 11 Petaluma | Jongsomjit D.,Point Blue Conservation Science 3820 Cypress Drive and 11 Petaluma | And 3 more authors.
Journal of the American Water Resources Association | Year: 2015

We used Landsat satellite imagery to (1) quantify the distribution of open surface water across the Central Valley of California 2000-2011, (2) summarize spatio-temporal variation in open surface water during this time series, and (3) assess factors influencing open surface water, including drought and land cover type. We also applied the imagery to identify available habitat for waterbirds in agriculture. Our analyses indicated that between 2000 and 2011 open surface water has declined across the Central Valley during the months of July-October. On average, drought had a significant negative effect on open surface water in July, September, and October, though the magnitude and timing of the effect varied spatially. The negative impact of a drought year on open water was experienced immediately in the southern Central Valley; however, there was a one year time-lag effect in the northern Central Valley. The highest proportion of open surface water was on agricultural lands followed by lakes, rivers, and streams, yet the relative proportions varied spatially and across months. Our data were consistent with previous descriptions of waterbird habitat availability in post-harvest rice in the northern Central Valley. Tracking water distribution using satellites enables empirically based assessments of the impacts of changing water policy, land-use, drought, climate, and management on water resources. © 2015 American Water Resources Association.

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