Davis resident starts wildlife blog

Holly Ober, a resident of Davis and employee at UC Davis, started a blog on Tumblr called Wild Davis (wild-davis.tumblr.com) in early January. The blog features and aims to document pictures of wildlife in and around Davis.

“One of the things that amazes me is the animals that are able to coexist with humans,” Ober said. “I want to promote awareness of diversity and how clever they are to adapt.”

Davis is home to many animals, specifically a huge array of birds, coyotes and other animals, such as minks.

“I notice the wildlife everywhere. There is a lot less of wildlife in Davis than where I am from, which is Auburn, Calif.,” said third-year wildlife, fish and conservation biology major Laura Zajack. “So I think this is a good thing to spread awareness of what Davis has.”

The pictures contribute to the blog’s underlining educational value, as it portrays animals living in the ever-changing environment.

Ober encourages her followers to post pictures of the wildlife that they have seen or have seen in the past, either in the city of Davis or on the UC Davis campus. She said that since the start of the blog, the number of people sending pictures in has progressively increased.

Julia Luckenbill is a follower of the Wild Davis blog. She has also posted several of her own photos that she has captured.

“I think that we are often cut off from nature, to the point where people develop phobias about natural things,” Luckenbill said. “Blogs such as this one help us connect with nature and notice the creatures around us. This keeps us mindful and leads to a sense of wonder about our world.”

One thing that the blog achieves well is a documentation of the type of animals that are in Davis, how many there are, what seasons they come out in and other information. Once the blog has its one-year anniversary, people can search through tags as to what type of animals were seen during specific times of the year.

“[It’s] out of curiosity to document what is out there, if we can get a crowdsourcing inventory of what we have [and] sort it by tags,” Ober said. “Just kind of keep track of what we really have [on] an informal basis, not really scientific.”

Ober has given an incentive to her followers as well by setting a goal to post at least 30 different species of animals in Davis by the end of 2013. As the blog is getting more and more followers, Ober believes this goal will be easily reached before the end of the year, and the bar will continue to be raised higher.

Although the blog is the main emphasis, people can follow the wildlife in Davis through the Facebook page as well.

“The wildlife is such a good reason to go out and enjoy,” Ober said. “Generally, with the good weather we have, [Davis is] full of animal lovers and people who love to do things outdoors.”

KAMILA KUDELSKA can be reached at city@theaggie.org.

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