Two california gulls standing on top of a tufa mound with a reflective lake in the background.

Mono Lake’s California Gulls make headlines once again

In an article released today, “Non-native weeds are engulfing the ancient breeding grounds of Mono Lake’s California gulls,” the Los Angeles Times revisits the colorful history and challenging current situation on the gulls’ nesting islands.

It’s another chapter in the fascinating, colorful, and ongoing story of Mono Lake’s California Gulls.

In 1978 the National Guard made the first of two attempts to blast a moat across the landbridge to Negit Island. Archive photo from Storm Over Mono by John Hart.
In the spring of 2017 Mono Basin land management agencies, non-profit partners, and scientists erected a temporary electric fence stretching one mile across the landbridge with motion-activated wildlife cameras  along its length. Photo by Geoff McQuilkin.
In late April 2017 a wildlife camera documented a coyote walking the fence line. Mono Lake Committee wildlife camera photo.
Point Blue Conservation Science (formerly Point Reyes Bird Observatory) has monitored the California Gull breeding population on Mono Lake for 37 years.
In November 2019 the Mono Lake Committee and Point Blue Conservation Science staff took key Forest Service staff out to see the extent of the invasive weed issue. Photo by Bartshe Miller.
Bassia (or “fivehorn smotherweed”) is the primary weed that makes up the dry brush pictured here. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

For more information on the California Gulls:

Top photo courtesy of Point Blue Conservation Science.