Love Our Wetland Wildlife

  The Wild Zone's Love Our Wetland Wildlife Program promotes the
conservation and responsible enjoyment of our inland wildlife. Unlike
some of San Diego’s charismatic coastal species, inland species that
rely on wetland habitats are too often overlooked for their biological
importance, not to mention their popularity for wild animal lovers
county-wide.  Our LOWW Program sets out to change that by making
the wildlife experience at our local lakes better for the humans who
enjoy them and the non-humans who rely on them for their very survival.
                                                                                               Every year hundreds of birds in our county become
                                                                                               entangled  and die from fishing line and other carelessly
                                                                                               discarded garbage. WZCL is building a collaborative
                                                                                               program with our county lakes to address this problem
                                                                                               in a mulit-pronged approach.
                                                                                               Our Program will:
                                                                                                  ♥  Reduce entanglement of birds
                                                                                                  ♥  Provide fishing line recycling receptacles
                                                                                                  ♥  Install one hundred new nest boxes county-wide
                                                                                                  ♥  Organize a Citizen Science Program to record
                                                                                                      data on nest box use. For more on the why and how  
                                                                                                      of Citizen Science see below.
                                                                                                  ♥  Use the inspired art work of grade school kids to
                                                                                                      create educational signs that promote stewardship.

WZCL will manufacture the fishing line receptacles, nest boxes, and
perching platforms for our Love Our Wetland Wildlife program.
Funds will go towards their creation and installation as well
as educational outreach and maintenance of our Citizen
Science Program. WZCL is excited to announce that some
of the nest boxes will include state-of-the-art computerized technology
enabling Citizen Scientists to collect invaluable data on breeding birds
including an audio-visual record of their day to day behavior.
With our Program we seek to make our inland lakes an exciting,
educational, and thriving source of “nearby nature” for everyone.

Living With Wildlife

Presentations about All Things Wild:
Coexistence, Conservation, Humane Exclusion, Tropical Adventures, Wildfire, Advocacy
Available for Your Group, Class, or Organization
All talks are modeled to appeal to each individual audiences' age and background.

1. Wildlife Conservation in Venezuela and Beyond. Our most popular
presentation, this focuses on our Executive Director Renee Owens'
unique long term study of wild anacondas funded and filmed by National
Geographic and theWildlife Conservation Society, featured on Dateline,
NBC, BBC, and Discovery Channel. Stories about endangered
reptiles, mammals,and birds connect tropical conservation and
culture to local advocacy.

2. The Benign, the Maligned, and the Truly Deadly.  Facts, myths, and
lots of stories about wildlife deemed to be deadly - or are they? A little
of everything about native predators (lions, bears, wolves, sharks), snakes,
disease vectors and invasive pests, as well as animals that can cause
humans great harm by their disappearance, including honey bees.
A favorite for kids and adults!

3.  Peaceful Coexistence: Living in Harmony highlights facts, stories,
myths, and regulatory laws about our nearby wildlife, how to benefit
from their presence while providing insights on how to humanely keep
uninvited neighbors out of your home and garden. This presentation
is popular with HOAs, NGOs and other groups interested in wildife exclusion
without using toxic compounds or injurious methods. 

4.  Outdoor Explorers. This interactive presentation is geared for children
and focuses on various habitats while relating to both the tropics and
wildlife closer to home. It specifically addresses the role conservation
plays in the lives of animals and humans, where to take
kids out to enjoy Mother Nature, and how they can help wildife by actions
that reduce their carbon footprint and protects biodiversity.
Note: for grades 1- 6 the presentation can be geared towards the
related biology curriculum being taught for the particular grade.

5.  Endangered Species and Conservation. This presentation
showcases some of the most sensitive species and habitats of
Southern California including where to find them, and how to help them.
Interactive and places special focus on conservation actions
that anyone can take to help these species and their habitats to thrive.

6.  Conservation Advocacy: Making Connections that Change the World.
Topical for any region, this presentation is a favorite for laypersons and
professionals both. It reveals pitfalls in standardized practices of
environmental advocacy and lays out solutions for better outreach,
invested volunteer recruitment, and successful advocacy based on the
latest in cognitive science and communications research.

7.  WildFIRE and WildLIFE in Southern California. A favorite program
that (1) discusses the impact of wildfire on wildlife and (2) addresses the
myths and realities regarding wildfire in Southern California. We
provide detailed, science-based solutions on how to landscape
your property and retrofit your home to keep your living space
more fire reistant - all without sacrificing biodiversity.


♥ Presentations are modeled for each audience and run 1 to 1.5 hours, though duration is flexible.
♥ Programs include speakers, photos, interactive discussions, and ocassionally a few live animals.
♥ Conservation focus:  Every presentation tuoches on local conservation and its relevance to our lives, showing how the simplest of actions can improve the environment for wildlife and humans alike.

Marine Mammal Observer Citizen Science

Why Citizen Science?

The term ‘citizen science’ describes efforts where data are collected  by community volunteers using an organized, scientific method that is taught to each participant. Collecting data provides insight that can help us better protect animals at the species, population, and individual level; such as whether or not a population is declining, changing its migration or breeding behavior, having more or fewer babies, or in identifying an entangled individual in need of help. It can provide valuable information about trends and changes that may be caused by various threats to marine mammals, including the impact of warming seas, Navy noise, boat traffic, tourism, and changes in prey and predator populations.

Not only is Citizen Science a great way to collect useful data, citizen science projects can be used to support and inform community members how to make better decisions for their environment and feel empowered to fight for positive change. The data and the volunteers contribute to efforts to promote effective conservation policy, partly by raising awareness and informing decision-makers how to best address local threats to our wildlife and their habitats. And on top of all that it's fun, it's outdoors, and you get to spend time watching wildlife!

The Wild Zone's MMO Citizen Science Program teaches volunteers to collect information about our local marine mammals:

                                                          ⇒  Whales and dolphins
                                                          ⇒  Harbor seals
                                                          ⇒  California Sea lions

Here in San Diego we have the incredible opportunity to get close to breeding rookeries of Harbor seals and California sea lions without distrubing them, and to observe part of the longest mammal migration in the world, that of the eastern Pacific gray whale. This allows observers a unique and exciting window into their lives that most people will never experience.

Other nearshore visitors include blue, minke, humpback, and fin whales, even orcas, along with several dolphin species. And yet aside from a few government and professional researchers, no one is compiling scientific data along our San Diego shoreline on these animals to better inform us of their status, despite these species being hugely popular with residents and tourists alike.

The Zone seeks to change that! Our Program trains observers of pinnipeds (seals and sea lions) and cetaceans (whales and dolphins) and will begin in early 2019. Data collected will contribute to an important state-wide database that informs agencies and the public alike.  If you are interested in hearing more, please contact us at:


Curious about identifying whales and dolphins (a.k.a. cetaceans) you can check out a complete guide here:

Whale species guide

Porpoises and dolphins species guide

    Male Wood duck.

Great blue heron with beak entangled with fishing line and debris.

Nestling western bluebird.

 Green anaconda.

 Female black widow spider


 Photo by C. Armstrong

 Endangered least Bell's vireo

 Harbor seal pup Casa Beach La Jolla

Northern Pacific Common Dolphin

 Eastern Pacific Gray whale

 California sea lion

 Harbor seal, Casa Beach La Jolla

La Jolla Harbor seal