Friday, March 6, 2015
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

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Life after lawn: Fifty greens for shade

    By Katie F. Hetrick | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Bay Area developers join Mace proposal

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

    Trial ordered in Davis child death case

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

     
    ‘Topping out': Sign a building beam at the Shrem Museum

    By Jeffrey Day | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    CHP car hit with bullet on highway

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    UCD police warn of sexual battery incident

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Bob Dunning: There’s an exception to every rule

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

    Ukraine declares heavy weapons pullback from front line

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    NASA craft circling Ceres in first visit to dwarf planet

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Got sun? Indoor herbs can thrive on windowsills

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

     
    How can we know that the products we buy for our homes are safe?

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Quick home improvements that raise your resale value

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Spring-clean your kitchen in five easy steps

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    PSAs highlight area nonprofits

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B6

     
    Peripheral neuropathy support offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6

    Workshop eyes creating peace through creative play

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6

     
    Museum brick sales to end this month

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6

     
    Cabrillo Club plans membership dinner

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6

    Dryers: Homes’ energy guzzlers just got greener

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

     
    Need a new best friend?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6 | Gallery

    UCD improving farming, food production with fewer pesticides

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: B6 | Gallery

     
    Waldorf’s spring tea party doubles as open house

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    Register online for Woodland rec classes

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    Older adults will discuss conscious aging movement

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7Comments are off for this post

    St. John’s shows off cuisine at brunch

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

     
    Seniors serious about fitness

    By Savannah Holmes | From Page: A11 | Gallery

    Pig out at Pig Day Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    Porkers on display at Hattie Weber Museum

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    .

    Forum

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: B4

     
    Some convicts don’t deserve parole hearings

    By Tom Elias | From Page: B4

    Here’s how to make college cheaper

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

     
    Obama’s world is a dangerous place

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    Dirty laundry on the company line

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B9

     
    .

    Sports

    Blue Devil volleyballers cruise in home opener

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    DHS girls track and field team reloads for 2015

    By Dylan Lee | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    UCD women fall at UCR

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Aggie men clinch Big West crown

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Marsh provides radio images of a ‘magical’ Aggie hoops season

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: Bella Vista slips past DHS softballers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12

    .

    Features

    What’s happening

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: B5

     
    Rec Report: Looking ahead to spring break

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

     
    Wineaux: A local diamond in the rough, revisited

    By Susan Leonardi | From Page: A9

    .

    Arts

    Steve Kiser’s work on display at Gallery 1855

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    Tables available at Vinyl and Music Fair

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

    ‘The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel': Second-rate

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A10 | Gallery

     
    Learn from experts at ‘Art of Painting’ conference

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

    Tom Brousseau to visit ‘Live in the Loam’ on KDRT

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

     
    ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ auditions set

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

    Hugh Masekela and Vusi Mahlasela celebrate Mandela’s legacy

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A12 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    Honey, we shrank the SUV — and Europe loves it

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, March 6, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B10