Thursday, September 18, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Migrating toads teach us a lesson

By Ken Kemmerling

Regarding the Davis toad tunnel, it seems to me that over the past 20 years of ridicule and celebration, the media have overlooked the larger, underlying concern: the effects of habitat fragmentation on wildlife populations.

Prior to the build-out of East Davis beyond Pole Line Road and Fifth Street, thousands of Western toads migrated annually to and from the Core Area Pond. UC Davis professor Charles Goldman was among those who testified to the City Council on behalf of the amphibians when the Pole Line Road overcrossing was being designed and constructed. He has some interesting true stories about the historic toads.

The (alleged) lack of use of the tunnel is the result of human colonization and development of the toad habitat east of Pole Line Road. Rather than lament the tunnel as a failure, we might consider urban planning that extends, widens, enhances and restores wildlife corridors in the city of Davis. This would partly involve removing large areas of asphalt and concrete, and planting landscapes beneficial to target species.

(The only time I can think of when asphalt was permanently removed in Davis was when Central Park was expanded by a vote of the people and Fourth Street was removed between B and C streets.)

UCD professor Arthur Shapiro, after 40 years of personally surveying butterfly populations between Suisun and the high Sierra, concludes that although climate change is detrimentally affecting butterfly populations, the driving force behind regional extinctions is habitat fragmentation. The butterflies, amphibians, birds and honeybees are our allies, who, along with scientists, provide us with critical information on the health and prognosis of our shared ecosystems. (I find it interesting that Julie Partansky is associated with metamorphic creatures.)

Julie was one of my oldest and dearest friends, and a music partner since 1975. We enjoyed working together on music gigs (we played opening night at the Blue Mango in October 1979; we were also founding members of the Rural Sophisticates early jazz band with R. Crumb and friends in 1981), and I later assisted her on many house painting jobs.

Few people are aware that she also worked on the Laguna Creek Stream Corridor restoration project (the southern boundary of the city of Sacramento) from 1988 to 1992, with me, Rod Macdonald and John Zentner. Her tasks included planting native woodland vegetation, establishing vernal pool hydrology monitoring, and maintaining wetland habitats. It turns out that the Laguna Creek project was used as a model for the North Davis Ponds, now the Julie Partansky Wildlife Area.

I hope we can see beyond just using our frog and toad friends as a successful marketing brand for the city of Davis (thanks, Julie). We can look at the larger picture, and collaborate with multiple species to help ensure our mutual survival.

— Ken Kemmerling is a longtime Davis resident and musician.

Comments

comments

Special to The Enterprise

.

News

 
Jurors see Marsh questioned by police

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

 
Grace Garden: Five years of feeding the needy

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1

 
For the record

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

Bike sale on Friday will benefit King High

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A2

 
Wildfire shows explosive growth

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Per Capita Davis: What to think

By John Mott-Smith | From Page: A3

International Festival moves to park for fourth year

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
Essay contest underway

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Sudwerk Wet Hop Lager plants seeds for area hops rebirth

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Speakers plumb issues around the Constitution

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Governor signs bill to support state’s ailing bee population

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
Backyard poultry symposium Sunday at UCD

By Tanya Perez | From Page: A5

Forum will answer questions about new license law

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Australian pop band Dick Diver plays Third Space

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

RepowerYolo hosts solar seminar

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Local Girl Scouts are looking for a few good leaders

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A5

Reneau, Silberstein will read their poetry Thursday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Parents host campaign coffees for Archer

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Nominate deserving volunteers for top citizen honors

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
PG&E, Dixon company unveil truck that can restore power

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

$12M earmarked for UCD life sciences center in Chile

By Karen Nikos-Rose | From Page: A7

 
.

Forum

She’s had it with his neglect

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Off-leash dogs are a danger

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Davis makes the NY Times

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Affordable housing affects health

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Choose to wipe out hunger

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

.

Sports

DHS girls pound Mustangs in the pool

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Davis captures final nonleague volleyball outing

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

DHS golfers blow past St. Francis

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Devils blow out Marauders at Brown Stadium

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Youth softball: Hurricanes win one of two slugfests with Woodland

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Youth roundup: These Diamonds are forever in the record books

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Baseball roundup: Duffy comes up big for Giants in Arizona

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Young Devil harriers carry the day

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

Davis falls to Vintage in a JV shootout

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B3

 
DHS girls tennis team stunned at Franklin

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

.

Features

What’s happening, Sept. 18

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8

 
Students get into the act with Shakespeare

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8 | Gallery

Street-smart tips for safe cycling

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8

 
Eagle Scout project makes life easier for Yolo Basin volunteers

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A10 | Gallery

.

Arts

 
Wineaux: Back and forth in the high and low debate

By Susan Leonardi | From Page: A9

Catie Curtis brings folk-rock ‘Flying Dream’ to The Palms on Friday Sept. 19

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Jean Botelli

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Comics: Thursday, September 18, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6