San Mateo County, California
Tigers on Market Street!
A Remarkable Tale of Butterfly Habitat along San Francisco's Busiest Urban Corridor
Speakers: Liam O'Brien and Amber Hasselbring
Thursday, May 8, 2014, 7:00 pm
Saturday, May 10th - Field trip to Edgewood Park for Butterflies
Western Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly
Not long after the transit tunnels of Muni and Bart went in below Market Street in the 70's, a San Franciscan butterfly - the Western Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio rutulus) discovered an ecosystem freshly lined with one of the butterfly's larval food, or host trees: the London Plane sycamore (Plantanus acerifolia). Males fly among the treetops, females lay eggs on the leaves, caterpillars feed and pupate, and adult butterflies emerge. This creature's entire lifecycle has played out for years unheralded by the thousands who walk below this canopy daily. As the city re-imagines our grandest boulevard with the Better Market Street Project, join us for this evening, and learn about a creature that seems to be keeping up in this human-altered landscape. And, add your two cents to this fascinating convergence of city coexistence. Lepidopterists and artists Amber Hasselbring and Liam O'Brien will "tell the tale of a swallow-tail" and propose novel ideas of connecting our two species."
Liam O'Brien is an illustrator, lepidopterist and conservationist. In his former life, Liam was a stage actor and in 1996 he was hired to understudy Prior in Angels in America at A.C.T. At the time he was living off the Dubose Triangle and a Western Tiger Swallowtail flew into his yard. He watched it for a long time – not knowing that his life had just made a giant shift in a new direction. He joined the Lepidopterists' Society that year and started traveling around the country, keeping an intense field journal. He would paint or photograph a location and then illustrate the butterflies and moths that flew there. In 2007 he decided to see what was flying in San Francisco and has visited every vacant lot, every park, every open space, even the islands in search of things on the wing.
Mysterious Marbled Murrelets
Speaker: Portia Halbert, California State Parks Environmental Scientist
Thursday, June 12, 2014, 7:00 pm
Saturday, June 14th - Dawn Marbled Murrelet Survey – reservations only.
Discover the elusive, endangered Marbled Murrelet, which lives most of its life at sea, but nests only in old-growth. The story begins with how this mysterious bird was "re-discovered" following a winter storm at Big Basin Redwoods State Park in the early 1970s. Learn about marbled murrelet habitat, life cycle and the efforts underway to prevent its extinction in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Portia Halbert is an Environmental Scientist with the Santa Cruz District of California State Parks. For 13 years she has been part of a resource management team who works to manage parkland and restore habitat in the 70,000 acres of Parks in Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties. Her experience is based in field work: restoration using heavy equipment for earthmoving, planting and maintaining large areas with native plants, refining the work on invasive exotic plants and incorporating early detection and rapid response, and working with sensitive species such as the California red-legged frog and San Francisco garter snake. As a last and personal favorite, she is also a member the statewide burn crew, helping to reintroduce fire to the landscape.
The programs for additional meetings will be posted when available. (Topics subject to change.)