Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Phillip Elden on La Nina

Phillip Elden

La Nina is the name of a weather pattern that begins in the Pacific. Like its brother, El NiƱo, La Nina causes the climate of a particular area to change for an entire season or longer. According to Phillip Elden, this can have an effect on local wildlife and their habitats. 
 
Q: What is La Nina? 
 
Phillip Elden: La Nina means “the little girl” in Spanish. It can create warmer and dryer averages in some parts of the United States, including Oregon. In a typical year, warm weather is pushed into South America over toward Australia along the lower border of the equator. This leaves cooler water in a small pocket along the West coast of South America. In a La Nina year, this pattern is pushed upward, creating a larger area of cool ocean water along the Western coast of Mexico up into Southern California. 

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Phillip Elden On Weather Vs. Climate

Phillip Elden

According to Phillip Elden, a conservation specialist based out of Oregon, both the weather and the climate have an effect on wildlife. However, one is long-term and one only causes an impact for a short while. 
 
Q: What is the difference between climate and weather? 
 
Phillip Elden: Weather is a specific meteorological event. For example, rain on Tuesday is a weather event. Drought, which may take place over many months, is also considered a weather pattern and not part of an area’s climate. Climate, by contrast, is the overall expectation of weather by season based on decades’ worth of history. 

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Phillip Elden on Monarch Butterflies

Phillip Elden

Phillip Elden grew up chasing butterflies in his backyard. As one of his core memories, he suspects that watching Monarchs flutter around the milkweed is what originally planted the seeds of conservation in this well-known nature advocate’s mind. But, he says that Monarch butterflies may be fluttering toward extinction. 
 
According to Phillip Elden, in 2020, researchers counted less than 2000 Monarch butterflies migrating from California to Mexico. This is a huge drop-off from the tens of thousands that would’ve made the journey in the 1980s. Because of climate change and habitat loss, Monarch butterflies are experiencing a sharp and alarming decline. 

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Phillip Elden Explains The Difference Between Public Lands

Phillip Elden

Conservationist Phillip Elden believes that our national parks and protected lands are one of our greatest assets. There are more than 250 million acres of parks, memorials, and wildlife refuges throughout the US. But, what is the difference between them all? 
 
Q: What is a national park? 
 
Phillip Elden: A national park is a large area of land with many natural resources. Often, parks contain both historical and natural features that deserve protecting for the benefit of us and future generations. Most often, national parks contain a variety of activities, including hiking and fishing. 
 
Q: How is a national park different from a national forest? 
 
Phillip Elden: Each type of protected area is beautiful and contains amazing landscapes. However, typically national forests are designated as a buffer for national parks. Often, national forests are utilized for their lumber, with the U.S. Forest Service keeping a close watch on resource depletion and regeneration. 

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Phillip Elden: How To Protect Pets From Wildlife

Phillip Elden

As a wildlife conservationist, Phillip Elden talks a lot about how to protect native species. However, it’s also important to protect our pets from the animals that cohabitate in our spaces. Here, Elden answers a few quick questions on how to keep your furry friends safe. 
 
Q: Why is it important to keep our domestic animals away from wildlife? 
 
Phillip Elden: Domestic pets should be kept separate from animals, such as coyotes, opossums, and skunks. Not only are your pets vulnerable to being attacked, wild animals also carry diseases that your animal has been protected from. Having an understanding of how to keep your pets safe is crucial, particularly if you live in the suburbs or in a rural area. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

All About Bats With Conservationist Phillip Elden

Phillip Elden

Everybody loves Batman, but few people have a special place in their hearts for the flying mammal that inspired the superhero’s dark persona. But, Phillip Elden says that bats are pretty fantastic, and notes that there are many reasons to be happy you see these nocturnal creatures flying through the air. 
 
First and foremost, Phillip Elden notes that bats actually are more closely related to humans than mice, which is the common belief. They are the second largest group of mammals on Earth at more than 1300 species strong. Unexpectedly, of these, only three actually survive off of blood. The rest tend to dine on insects and fruit. 

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Phillip Elden On Foraging

Phillip Elden

At the start of the coronavirus crisis, many people took to the outdoors as a place of respite. Phillip Elden explains that some of these discovered the fun of foraging. But, what does this mean, and is it safe? 
 
Q: What is foraging? 
 
Phillip Elden: Foraging is looking for foods that are not planted for the explicit purpose of human consumption. But, to forage, you also have to know which herbs, roots, plants, and flowers are safe to eat.