The Resource., Agency
DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME
p. 10 G. R. Stewart, p. 12 Dave Schaub, p. 14 John Borneman from
National Audubon Society, p. 18 U.S. Forest Service, p.20 Frank
Gress, p.24 Robert Martin, p.26 Herb Clarke, p.28 Dana Echols,
p.30 Dave Dick, p.38 W^y/?e Deason, p.40 W./. Fa/feff, p.42 Phil
Pister, p.44 Z>. Vanicek, p.46 Z>. Vanicek, p.50 7erry / Af/7/s, p.52
/0A0 Brode, p. 54Phil Pister, p.56 Leonard Fisk
Cover Photo: Ze&tf a/7tf 7e/77 and Chicks
For a complete list of available publications on fish and wildlife in
California, write Conservation Education, Department of Fish and
Game, 1416 Ninth St., Sacramento, CA 95814.
Birds and Mammals
Alan Craig, associate wildlife manager biologist
John Gustafson, assistant wildlife manager biologist
Howard Leach, wildlife management supervisor
Robert Mallette, wildlife management supervisor
Fish, Reptiles and Amphibians
John Brode, associate fishery biologist
Louis Courtois, associate fishery biologist
Steve Nicola, senior fishery biologist
State of California
The Resources Agency
DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME
From the collection of
in association with
o Pre linger
San Francisco, California
This booklet is published in response to an increased public interest
in endangered species. The California Department of Fish and Game,
which is responsible for the welfare of more than 1,000 species offish
and wildlife in the state, hopes this publication will stimulate the
reader to join in the effort to protect endangered species.
Digitized by the Internet Archive
in 2007 with funding from
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Morro Bay kangaroo rat 10
Salt marsh harvest mouse 12
California condor 14
American peregrine falcon 16
Bald eagle 18
California brown pelican 20
California least tern 22
California clapper rail 24
Light-footed clapper rail 26
Belding's Savannah sparrow 28
Blunt-nosed leopard lizard 30
San Francisco garter snake 32
Santa Cruz long-toed salamander 34
Desert slender salamander 36
Colorado squawfish 38
Thicktail chub 40
Tecopa pupfish 42
Bonytail chub 44
Humpback sucker 46
Shortnose sucker 48
Lost River sucker 50
Unarmored threespine stickleback 52
Owens tui chub 54
Owens pupfish 56
Mohave chub 58
List of Rare Species in California 60
List of Extinct Species in California 61
Federal List of California Endangered Species 62
In the long history of Planet Earth, many forms of life have come
and gone. A survey of plants and animals that survive today is like
reading one chapter in the middle of a book. There are hints of what
has gone on before, and signs of what may happen in the future. But
it is not the complete story.
We know from the study of fossils that Earth was a vastly different
place in the past. Great seas once covered what is now desert. Huge
dinosaurs ruled the land and giant winged creatures patrolled the
skies. Glaciers came down from the north, carving giant valleys and
whittling boulders into pebbles. All of this has changed, and in its
unbelievably slow, steady pace, Earth continues to change. The crea-
tures of Earth, totally dependent on their environment, have changed
also. Those able to adapt to great climatic and geologic changes have
survived. Others perished.
The monarch of the world today is man. His ability to alter his
surroundings for his own benefit is unsurpassed by any other form of
life which lives, or has ever lived, on this planet. His capacity to reason
and to communicate appears to be unique and it has been said his
ability to mourn the passing of another life form is something new
under the sun.
Man has altered his environment by building great cities, convert-
ing arid land to agriculture by irrigation, constructing highways,
dams, shopping centers and sprawling housing projects. In so doing
he has taken a hand at shaping the future of the world's plant and
animal life. Subtle changes in climate and the land continue, but these
are overshadowed by the abrupt and often traumatic changes made
Plant and animal life has had some difficulty adapting to these
sudden changes in the environment wrought by man. Since 1600,
when accurate record-keeping began, more than 200 animal species
have ceased to exist. The causes of their disappearances are varied, but
nearly all are at least partially related to the activities of man.
This is a book about endangered species — animals which are likely
to become extinct if something is not done. More specifically, it is
about endangered species in California. We know of 25 such animals,
ranging from the majestic bald eagle to the tiny blunt-nosed leopard
lizard. There are probably more, because our knowledge of the world
around us is still limited.
To determine the status of a species, there are five questions which
can be applied. If the answer is "yes" to any of the following questions,
the species (or subspecies) under study can be considered endan-
1. Does the mortality rate consistently exceed the birth rate?
2. Is the species unable to adapt to environmental change?
3. Is its habitat threatened by destruction or serious disturbance?
4. Does environmental pollution threaten its survival?
5. Is its survival threatened by the unwanted introduction of other
species through predation, competition or disease?
The term "endangered species" is relatively new. In 1966, the Inter-
national Union for Conservation of Nature met in Switzerland to
publish the first list of rare and endangered animals. Prior to then,
thoughtful men were able to stop the slaughter of buffalo, tule elk and
other animals that were being wiped out by people who felt nature was
an infinite resource. Other creatures, like the passenger pigeon, did
not fare so well. They were extinct before most people had time to
We, the people, are still in the process of considering the conse-
quences of making a particular animal extinct. We don't really know
what effect the passing of the leopard lizard, for example, would have
on the rest of the world. Most of us, living in an urbanized society,
have never seen an endangered species. So why should we care?
Why save endangered species?
An argument for protecting endangered species is based on the
"web of life." All plant and animal life is interconnected in complex
ways which man does not yet fully understand. Some people believe
that to remove one or more of the links in the web of life is to threaten
the entire system. Others argue that by the time an animal reaches the
point of being endangered, it no longer has a significant part in
interdependent relationships we call an ecosystem.
Another argument for endangered species is based on the potential
value of animals and plants in medical, agricultural and industrial
operations. Many benefits have been realized and others no doubt will
be found in the future.
A growing number of people support the preservation of endan-
gered species because they feel that wildlife in its natural habitats adds
to the quality of human life. Biologists tell us that the health of wild
animals is a good indicator of the health of the ecosytem. Even man
needs a healthy planet on which to live.
Indeed, the quality of life may be better because we are able to see
deer running through the forest and hawks gliding in circles above the
land. But not everyone has an opportunity to see the deer and the
hawk. Few will ever see a bald eagle or a peregrine falcon. For many
of us, unfortunately, quality of life has nothing to do with nature.
There is also the notion that we have an ethical commitment to
other forms of life. Even if a given species of animal has no value to
humankind, it should be conserved because it exists. In fact, it may
have existed before the coming of man.
Current governmental policy in this country and others is to protect
rather than to deliberately make any species extinct. Human beings
definitely have the ability to eliminate a species forever.
The grizzly bear, the jaguar and the wolf are now extinct in Califor-
nia. The California condor is nearly gone and the blunt-nosed leopard
lizard is fighting for survival.
The importance of habitat
Perhaps the best action which can be taken to ensure survival of a
species is to protect its habitat. Without suitable living space, no
animal can survive. To preserve at least some of the land in its natural
state, the California Department of Fish and Game and other public
agencies have been purchasing parcels throughout the state. The es-
tablishment of ecological reserves does much to assure wildlife sur-
vival, expecially in areas of critical habitat which are important to the
survival of rare and endangered species.
Funding for work on endangered species comes from a variety of
sources. Revenue from personalized license plates, special appropria-
tions from the legislature, federal grants, and public donations have
been spent on projects to help endangered species.
There is much work to be done. With continuing public interest and
support, the state and private interests will work together in providing
protection for all wildlife and in conserving habitat essential to the
survival of endangered species in California. This will be our contribu-
tion to the concept of Planet Earth as a place where all life forms may
exist in concert, if not always in harmony.
MORRO BAY KANGAROO RAT
Dipodomys heermanni morroensis
The Morro Bay kangaroo rat is distinct from the many kangaroo
rats found in the desert and arid areas of California.
Kangaroo rats are so named because they hop about in the manner
of a kangaroo. They are brown and white in color, have large hind
feet, small front feet and an extremely long tail. Dark coloration and
lack of a complete white hip stripe distinguish the Morro Bay kanga-
roo rat from other subspecies of kangaroo rats.
The Morro Bay kangaroo rat, as its name suggests, lives at the south
end of Morro Bay in San Luis Obispo County. Its habitat is a coastal
shrub plant community of sandy open spaces, in which it burrows and
forages for food.
Kangaroo rats, like many small mammals, remain underground
during the day and come out at night. Frequently, they can be seen
scurrying across the road as one drives through the desert areas at
night. The presence of Morro Bay kangaroo rat is best determined by
finding active burrows, and by tracks and tail markings in sandy
Normally, three or four young are born in May or June. In some
years, the Morro Bay kangaroo rat has two litters. Kangaroo rats feed
largely on seeds, which they collect and put in pouches along either
side of their jaws and then store in caches surrounding their burrows
until food is needed. They are preyed upon by a number of natural
enemies including foxes, bobcats, snakes and owls. Of special threat
to the Morro Bay kangaroo rat are house cats, which are increasing
in numbers as they arrive with families occupying new houses built
near the remaining kangaroo rat habitat.
The Morro Bay kangaroo rat is one of the most endangered species
in California. The rapid growth of the cities of Baywood Park and Los
Osos is destroying the habitat essential to the survival of this species.
Efforts are being made to acquire and set aside within Montana de
Oro State Park sufficient habitat to assure survival of the Morro Bay
kangaroo rat. Critical habitat bordering the state park has been pur-
chased by the Department of Fish and Game and established as a
reserve for the Morro Bay kangaroo rat.
SALT MARSH HARVEST MOUSE
The salt marsh harvest mouse is a unique little rodent the size of
a house mouse. It can be distinguished by its beautiful reddish colored
hair, bicolored tail and grooved incisors.
While harvest mice are not uncommon in California, the salt marsh
harvest mouse is found only in salt marshes bordering San Francisco
Bay. In many areas along the bay this habitat is found only as narrow
bands of salt marsh.
The salt marsh harvest mouse is the only rodent which spends its
entire life in a salt marsh. It evolved to subsist on highly salt-tolerant
plants, to drink salt water, and to exist in a hostile environment
influenced by tides. Here, in dense pickleweed and cordgrass, the salt
marsh harvest mouse has existed, reproduced, and met its life needs
without evolving into a truly aquatic mammal as have other rodents
such as the beaver and muskrat.
Like most small rodents, this harvest mouse has an extended breed-
ing season. Three or four young comprise a normal litter and are cared
for by the female until they leave the nest in a few weeks. Natural
enemies include whitetailed kites, marsh hawks, owls and herons.
Contnual destruction of salt marshes by land fill and diking are
major factors contributing to decline of this species. However, recent
acquisitions of tidelands by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, California
Departir-ent of Fish and Game, City of Palo Alto, and independent
conservation organizations are insuring its continued survival.
Preservation of existing salt marshes bordering San Francisco Bay
and man cement of these through normal tidal flows are the keys to
the survnal of the salt marsh harvest mouse.
The California condor is the largest soaring land bird in North
America. An adult may have a wing span of nine to nine and one half
feet and may weigh more than 20 pounds. The adult condor is distin-
guished from the turkey vulture and golden eagle by the white trian-
gular shaped patch under each wing and its bare orange head.
Once present in much of western North America, the California
condor is now largely confined to the rugged mountains surrounding
the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley in California. During the
summer condors range northward into the Sierra Nevada foothills
and the coast range. There have been unconfirmed reports of condors
being seen in Baja California, Mexico.
The California condor is a relic of the ice age, probably never very
numerous. Their numbers are dwindling slowly to a point of near-
extinction. While condors live as long as 45 years, they have an
extremely low reproductive rate. They mature at five to six years and
are thought to mate for life.
In early February a nest site is selected on a remote cliff. The female
lays a pale green egg which is incubated for 42 days. It is five to seven
months before the young bird is fledged and even then it depends on
its parents for food for another five to seven months. Because of the
long period of incubation and parental care of the young, a pair of
condors normally nest only every other year.
Like other vultures, condors eat carrion. They feed chiefly on dead
livestock, deer, and even ground squirrels which they search out by
flying long distances from preferred roosting sites. An unforgettable
sight is an effortlessly soaring condor, riding the thermal currents, as
it must have done long before man trespassed on its territory.
Unfortunately, the California condor appears incapable now of
producing a sufficient number of young to maintain even its present
population of less than 30 birds. Scientists feel that four to six young
birds must fledge each year in order for the condor to survive. Current
production is less than two birds each year.
Considerable effort has been devoted to preserving the condor.
Important nesting and roosting areas have been acquired or set aside
in condor sanctuaries through the cooperative efforts of the U. S. Fish
and Wildlife Service, U. S. Forest Service, California Department of
Fish and Game, and National Audubon Society. U. S. Forest Service
regulations protect known nest sites and areas of condor concentra-
tions from human disturbance and discharge of firearms. Condors
may have to be bred in captivity to assure continued survival and to
produce young which can be returned to the wild.
AMERICAN PEREGRINE FALCON
Falco peregrin us an a turn
The peregrine falcon, or duck hawk, is a member of the falcon
family. It is larger than the familiar American kestrel or sparrow
hawk, having a wing span of slightly more than three feet. The adult
has slate-gray upper body feathers, narrow barring on the belly, breast
and flanks, and black cap and cheek patches, which distinguish it
from other hawks, including its close relative, the prairie falcon.
While in flight, peregrine falcons can be identified by their wing beats
and pointed wings.
The American peregrine falcon is one of three races, or subspecies,
native to North America. No longer breeding east of the Rocky
Mountains, its numbers also are severely reduced in the western
states. In California, peregrines occur seasonally throughout the state
but are seen most commonly along the coast, in the Central Valley and
in surrounding mountains. In 1979, 21 pairs of peregrine falcons were
known to have nested in California.
The peregrine falcon can fly at great speeds, often reaching 175
miles per hour in a stoop, or dive. It feeds primarily on birds ranging
in size from a small warbler to a mallard duck. Observing a peregrine
falcon chasing a teal or a shorebird can be a dramatic experience.
Peregrines mate for life. They return each year to the same nest site,
or eyrie, on a rocky cliff. One such site is Morro Rock, overlooking
Morro Bay in San Luis Obispo County. This is the only place in North
America where nesting peregrines can be viewed from a parking lot!
Morro Rock has been declared an ecological reserve for the peregrine
falcon, and the area has been posted to prohibit public access.
Nesting activity begins in early February and by April the female
has laid two to four eggs. The eggs hatch in 28 to 31 days and the
young fledge in four to four and one-half weeks. During this time, the
adult male is busy hunting and bringing food to the female and young.
Upon fledging, the young birds are closely attended by their parents
who teach them to hunt and care for themselves.
The American peregrine falcon is one of the most endangered
species. The decline in its numbers since the 1940's has been attributed
to reproductive failure caused by the widespread use of the pesticide
DDT. The peregrine falcon, like the California brown pelican, has
experienced a noticeable increase in reproduction since DDT was
banned in 1971. Unscrupulous hunters, illegal falconers, and loss of
nesting areas continue to threaten the recovery of the peregrine falcon
Surveillance of active peregrine falcon eyries is conducted each year
to assess reproductive success. Critical habitat areas are being deter-
mined and management plans developed to provide added protection.
Captive rearing of the species and introduction of young birds to the
wild is aiding in the recovery of peregrine falcons.
The bald eagle is our national bird and, next to the American flag,
our best known national symbol. Except for the California condor, the
bald eagle is the largest bird of prey in California, with a wing span
of six and one-half to eight feet. An adult is readily identified by its
brownish-black body, white head and tail and large yellow hooked
bill. Unlike the golden eagle, the bald eagle's legs are not feathered
all the way to its feet.
The bald eagle is found year-round in California. For most of the
year, nesting birds occupy well-defined territories. Most of these nest-
ing sites are located in northern California and are found near large
streams, lakes and reservoirs. Bald eagles once nested on the Channel
Islands off California's southern coast. During the winter months
large numbers of bald eagles migrate from the north and can be found
over much of the state.
Bald eagles are long-lived and mate for life. Their courtship occurs
in mid-winter. The bald eagle's nest — a massive stick platform in trees
20 to 90 feet high — is used year after year. One to three white eggs
are laid from mid-February to April and are hatched in 35 days. Both
parents assist in incubating and caring for young which leave the nest
in eight to ten weeks.
Bald eagles feed mainly on fish, often boldly taken from other
raptors such as the osprey. Bald eagles can be seen in late winter
congregated about streams and rivers feeding on salmon which have
died after spawning. Kokanee salmon found in some inland lakes of
California are an important food source. Bald eagles also feed on
waterfowl, rabbits and deer and livestock, which is mostly in the form
of carrion. Eagles feeding on road-killed animals are often struck and
killed by motor vehicles.
California's resident bald eagles number about 50 pairs, with a
winter population in excess of 500 birds. In 1979, there were 41 nests
occupied by bald eagles producing about one chick per active site.
Scientists feel that unless improved reproduction and survival of
young birds occurs, the bald eagle will become extinct.
Surveillance of nesting bald eagles is conducted each year to deter-
mine where eagles are nesting and how many young have been pro-
duced. Management plans provide for protection of these nest sites
during the nesting period.
CALIFORNIA BROWN PELICAN
Pelecanus occidentalis califomicus
The brown pelican can be easily recognized by anyone who visits
California's coast in the summer. It is the only large grayish-brown
coastal bird with a large pouched bill. It has a wingspread of 90 inches.
Adults have white heads but the immatures are dark-headed. It flies
with its head folded back on its neck and shoulders, alternately flap-
ping its wings and sailing. When feeding, this interesting bird folds its
wings and plummets into the water after fish, its principal food item.
The California brown pelican ranges along the Pacific Coast from
Mexico to Canada in the summer. Some move as far north as British
Columbia in summer and fall, but most of the birds remain in Mexico.
About 20,000 frequent California's coast from July through Novem-
ber. About 100,000 birds are found in the west coast population.
With the exception of a small colony on West Anacapa Island off
Ventura, California brown pelicans nest on the Mexican coastal is-
lands off Baja California and in the Sea of Cortez. Huge colonies of
pelicans congregate and nest on these remote islands, historically free
of human disturbance. Breeding commences as early as December in
the southernmost colony.
Pelicans construct large stick platforms in which they lay three to
four eggs. Both parents assist in caring for the young and spend many
hours foraging for fish, mostly anchovies, to feed their young. After
eight to 10 weeks, the young leave their nest and accompany their
parents to nearby fishing areas or north along the Pacific Coast.
Pelicans from Mexico begin to appear along the California coast in
late June, congregating in bays and protected areas along the shore,
or at good fishing sites.
The California brown pelican was declared as endangered because
the Anacapa Island colony was incapable of reproducing. A 1970
study showed there had been 552 nesting attempts with only one
young produced. Pelicans were found to be laying thin-shelled eggs
which collapsed during incubation. Scientists attributed this to the
contamination of the food supply with DDT pesticide. Recent ban-
ning of DDT used in the United States and curtailment of industrial
discharge of DDT into the ocean has resulted in improved reproduc-
The colonies in Mexico appear to be nesting normally. However,
an increase in the number of tourists attracted to remote islands in the
Sea of Cortez could lead to destruction of these colonies.
Continued curtailment of the use of DDT should result in recovery
of the Anacapa Island colony. Closure of this island and of breeding
places in Mexico to human activity during the nesting season may be
necessary to restore the California brown pelican to nonendangered
CALIFORNIA LEAST TERN
Sterna albifrons brown i
The smallest of the terns, this nine inch long bird is recognized by
its white body, gray wings, black wing tips, white forked tail and
yellow legs. In breeding plumage, the white forehead contrasts with
the black cap on the head and the bird's yellow bill has a black tip.
These markings, the four-part call of the birds at the breeding colony
and the rapid wing-beat distinguish it from other terns in California.
From April to September the least tern can be found along the
Pacific coast from San Francisco Bay to central Baja California,
Mexico. There are no reliable estimates of the former total population
of the California least tern, but in 1915 an estimated 1,000 pairs nested
along a three-mile stretch of beach in San Diego. In recent years their
numbers have declined to where they nest at about 29 sites from San
Francisco Bay to the Mexican border. Wintering areas are not known
although it is believed they frequent the coastal areas of Central and
The adults arrive in California on their breeding grounds in April
and breed in loose colonies. Terns tend to choose a sandy flat area
with little or no vegetation. The colony nests near a lagoon or estuary
that provides a small fish food supply. Once a school of small fish —
such as anchovy, top smelt, shiner perch or killifish — is found, terns
hover a moment and dive into the water, rising quickly with their
Birds usually lay two or three eggs in a shallow depression in the
sand. Eggs are buffy in color and are splotched with irregular shaped
purplish and brownish markings blending with the sand, making them
difficult to find. An incubation period of about 20 to 25 days begins
with the laying of the first egg. By the second day after hatching, the
chicks leave the nest and wander freely through the tern colony.
Parent birds are busy bringing fish to the young even after they take
to the air at about three weeks of age. At this time the young start
to learn the art of flying and catching their own food. Birds leave the
California coast by September and migrate south to their wintering
The California least tern was declared as endangered because of
continuing destruction of few remaining feeding and nesting habitats,
and human disturbance and animal predation. About 29 colonies have
nested in recent years in California. Statewide breeding population
was estimated at 950 pairs in 1979. About 80 percent of nesting occurs
in San Diego County.
Critical nesting and foraging habitats need continued protection
and nesting sites may need to be placed in public ownership to control
human activity during the nesting season. Annual population surveys
are conducted to determine population trends, develop management
plans for essential habitats and implement the California Least Tern
CALIFORNIA CLAPPER RAIL
Rallus longirostris obsoletus
The California clapper rail is a secretive marsh bird and is seldom
seen far from salt marshes. Like all rails, it is built so that it can slip
through marsh vegetation. It seldom is seen flying, but when flushed
out, it flies awkwardly to a landing a short distance away and disap-
pears into the thick cover. Largest of the rails in California, the
California clapper rail is hen-sized and has a long bill. It is brown or
cinnamon in color and has barred flanks and an upturned tail.
The California clapper rail is a resident of the salt marshes of San
Francisco Bay, San Pablo Bay, Napa Marsh and Elkhorn Slough, and
is a casual visitor to Bolinas and Tomales Bays. It has also been
observed at Humboldt Bay and on South Farallon Island.
This rail's habitat is the tidal marshes that are characterized by
pickleweed and cordgrass. Here the rail finds an abundance of food
in the form of crabs, clams and other small crustaceans. Nesting
occurs from March through June, in nests constructed in thick vegeta-
tion. The female lays six to 10 eggs which hatch in 23 to 29 days.
During periods of high tides, California clapper rails are flushed from
cover and are found roosting in driftwood and debris. They are most
easily located at these times and are located at other times by their
distinct chattering calls.
The California clapper rail is listed as endangered by the California
Fish and Game Commission and by the Secretary of the Interior. This
bird is highly specialized and apparently incapable of adapting to
environmental change. Major populations occur in the salt marshes
of south San Francisco Bay and Napa Marsh. Smaller populations
exist in San Pablo Bay and Elkhorn Slough. The rail is absent as a
breeder from Suisun Marsh and other brackish marshes along the
north and central coasts. Marsh reclamation, industrial pollution, and
the introduced old-world rat are all threatening this rail.
State and federal laws prohibit the take, possession, and sale of
California clapper rails. Key habitat areas in San Francisco and San
Pablo bays have been preserved by the State of California, U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service, National Audubon Society, Nature Conservan-
cy, and the City of Palo Alto. The Department of Fish and Game
conducts annual surveys of clapper rail density and distribution.
LIGHT-FOOTED CLAPPER RAIL
Rallus longirostris levipes
The light-footed clapper rail is one of three races of the clapper rail
found in California. Like other clapper rails it is a secretive hen-like
marsh bird and is found in the salt marshes along the coast of southern
California. It is brown or cinnamon in color and has barred flanks,
a short upturned tail and a long bill. This sub-species is slightly darker
than the other races. This is the largest rail found within its range,
about the size of an American coot.
The light-footed clapper rail is a resident of the coastal salt marshes
from Goleta Slough, Santa Barbara County, south to San Quintin
Bay, Baja California, Mexico. Breeding populations are limited to 12
sites in suitable tidal marshes along the California coast.
Like the California clapper rail this race is associated with tidal
marshes that are characterized by pickleweed and cordgrass. They
feed on shore crabs and other invetebrates. The nest is a bowl of
grasses fashioned in locations above the high tide level. Six to 10 eggs
are laid, buffy in color and spotted. Frequently, during periods of high
tides, this bird will be found roosting on driftwood and debris. Their
presence may also be detected by their distinctive call, a series of loud
clattering "kek" notes.
This rail is listed as endangered by the California Fish and Game
Commission and by the Secretary of Interior. Reductions in its popu-
lation are attributed to loss of habitat. At present there are approxi-
mately 8,500 acres of salt marsh habitat, as compared to an estimated
26,000 acres which once existed between Santa Barbara County and
the Mexican border. Many of the salt marshes are threatened by
developments that will reduce or destroy local rail populations. The
total population of light-footed clapper rails in California was estimat-
ed to be approximately 250 birds in 1976.
The light-footed clapper rail is protected under state and federal
laws. Key habitat in Upper Newport Bay, Bolsa Bay, Mission Bay and
Tijuana River marshes has been placed in public ownership. Other
coastal wetland areas are being acquired as ecological reserves. A
recovery team has been established to develop and implement a plant
to restore this rail to nonendangered status.
BELDING'S SAVANNAH SPARROW
Passerculus sandwichensis beldingi
This brown streaked sparrow has a short yellowish stripe above and
in front of the eyes, a short notched tail, pink legs and a streaked
breast. A subspecies of the savannah sparrow, it is distinguished from
others by its smaller size, overall darker color, lack of distinct crown
stripe, heavy streaking on the throat, breast and sides and its restricted
The Belding's savannah sparrow lives in tidal estuaries from Gole-
ta, California, to El Rosario, Baja California, Mexico. It is closely
associated with pickleweed habitat, subject to tidal influence.
The Belding's savannah sparrow nests along the ocean coastline,
where plants are wet only by high spring tides and inundated only by
storm tides. Nesting activities start in March. Nests are constructed
from pickleweed twigs on the ground or in low branches of dense
pickleweed. A clutch of three or four eggs is laid in early April.
Incubation time is estimated to be 10-13 days. Females may raise
several broods in a season.
Their diet is varied and consists of small marine invertebrates,
insects, seeds and tender parts of pickleweed. This subspecies is not
migratory and during the nonbreeding season the birds disperse daily
to feeding areas, returning to roost at night in the breeding territory.
This sparrow is listed as endangered by the California Fish and
Game Commission. Developments which are destroying California
coastal salt marsh habitats threaten its survival. Approximately 1,610
pairs of birds were found breeding at 28 breeding sites in southern
California in 1977.
State law prohibits the take, possession and sale of the Belding's
savannah sparrow. Some key habitats have been acquired to preserve
this and other endangered species. Additional areas may need to be
acquired in public ownership to assure preservation of this endan-
BLUNT-NOSED LEOPARD LIZARD
The blunt-nosed leopard lizard is a robust creature, with a long,
round tail and a snout that is short and blunt when compared with
the common leopard lizard ( G. wislizenii) . It can grow to five inches
long, not including the tail. This lizard has gray or brown coloration
above with whitish crossbars on the back and tail. Dark, leopard-like
spots are on the back, sides and tail. The undersides are whitish or
yellowish, with dusky spots on the throat. Breeding females have
orange or red spots on their sides and under the tail.
This lizard's original territory was the San Joaquin Valley and
surrounding hills, ranging from about San Joaquin County south to
Kern County, including the Carrizo Plain in eastern San Luis Obispo
County. Today, it is found in scattered locations in the San Joaquin
valley from Merced County to Kern County and in the foothills along
the valley's western edge, including the Carrizo Plain and Cuyama
The lizards live in grasslands with sparse vegetation, alkali flats,
low foothills, canyon floors, large washes and arroyos. They are ab-
sent or scarce in areas of tall grass or dense shrub. Sandy soil is their
preference, although the lizards also are found in coarse, gravelly soil
The blunt-nosed leopard lizard is an active daylight hunter, feeding
on locusts, cicadas and small lizards. Most of its surface activity
occurs when air temperatures are 80 to 105 F. It uses small mammal
burrows for shelter and to escape its enemies, which include shrikes,
owls, kestrels, roadrunners, spotted skunks and coyotes.
After mating, the female lays two to three eggs in an underground
chamber at the end of a burrow, usually from early June to mid-July.
The eggs take about two months to hatch and young lizards usually
can be seen by early August. Young lizards and some adults may
remain active above ground into October, depending upon the cli-
mate. The cold winter months are spent underground in mammal
The original range of the blunt-nosed leopard lizard was quite
extensive. However, agricultural development in the San Joaquin Val-
ley has reduced the native habitat to a fraction of what it once was.
Recent studies have indicated that this lizard requires large areas of
unaltered land in order to sustain viable populations. The species will
continue to be threatened as agriculture and subdivisions claim more
land. Off-road vehicles also are damaging lizard habitat in some foot-
hill areas. Some natural lizard habitat remains in a near-natural condi-
tion on the Naval Petroleum Reserve near Taft and on the Kern-
Pixley National Wildlife Refuges.
Large areas of prime habitat need to be protected wherever possible.
Efforts are being made to acquire property in the San Joaquin Valley
with habitat suitable for the preservation of the blunt-nosed leopard
SAN FRANCISCO GARTER SNAKE
Thamnophis sirtalis tetrataenia
This is one of the most strikingly beautiful snakes of North Ameri-
ca. The top of the head is red. There is a wide stripe on the back of
greenish-yellow edged with black, and broad red stripes on each side
bordered with black. The red stripe may be broken or divided any-
where along the body. The ventral side is turquoise blue. Adult
females grow to about four feet.
The San Francisco garter snake is found from northern San Mateo
County south along the east slope of the Santa Cruz Mountains to the
Santa Clara County line, and along the coast west of this region south
to Point Aiio Nuevo. It is found most commonly in vegetation that
borders ponds and lakes. Marshy areas with good cover are especially
The San Francisco garter snake is active throughout the year except
during periods of cold weather. It breeds in the early spring and the
females bear live young in late summer. The San Francisco garter
snake is usually found in the vicinity of permanent water, although
vernal ponds may be frequented in the spring. Its favorite food is
frogs, although fish may also be eaten.
Fewer than 20 populations of this snake are known to exist. Most
populations are composed of less than 50 adults, and there is high
mortality in newborn young. The snake was formerly abundant at a
few ponds near Daly City, but housing construction has eliminated
these populations. Less than five percent of the present habitat is on
The San Francisco garter snake occurs on land owned by the city
and county of San Francisco and on some state park land. Most of
the best habitat, though, is on private land. Successful management
of this snake will require protecting additional land and keeping the
habitat in a natural (wild) condition.
SANTA CRUZ LONG-TOED SALAMANDER
Ambystoma macrodactylum croceum
The Santa Cruz long-toed salamander grows to about five inches
and has relatively long, tapered toes. This salamander is shiny black,
with an irregular pattern of metallic orange to yellow-gold blotches
along the back.
Three sites in Santa Cruz County and two in Monterey County are
the only areas known at present to support populations of this species.
They are found in ponds during the winter and spring and in nearby
oak-chaparral woodlands during the remainder of the year.
Adult Santa Cruz long-toed salamanders spend most of their lives
under leaf litter or in mammal burrows. Their diet includes isopods,
beetles, centipedes, earthworms and spiders.
At night, during the rainy season, adults migrate to temporary
ponds where they breed. Males usually arrive first, followed closely
by the females. The salamanders mate, lay their eggs, then return to
the wooded areas. The eggs usually are deposited singly and are
attached to submerged aquatic plants. The eggs hatch in about a week
and the larvae develop in three to four months. Larvae feed mainly
on aquatic invertebrates.
Metamorphosis will not occur until the larvae are at least one and
one-quarter inches long. However, drying of the ponds will speed up
metamorphosis. Young salamanders move into nearby woodlands
after metamorphosis, or seek refuge under vegetation or in cracks at
the bottom of the drying pond.
The temporary ponds required by this species for reproduction
have been threatened by home building, highway construction and
drainage projects. The California Department of Fish and Game and
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have purchased habitat at two sites
in Santa Cruz County to manage as preserves for the salamander. The
California Department of Transportation has begun a project to
rehabilitate a pond area damaged by previous highway construction.
DESERT SLENDER SALAMANDER
The desert slender salamander can be distinguished from other
slender salamanders by its shorter tail. It is a small creature, growing
to a maximum length of approximately four inches. The back of the
desert slender salamander is blackish-maroon, overlaid by an indis-
tinct lighter band The underside of the trunk is darker black-maroon.
The underside of the tail is flesh colored.
This salamander was not discovered until 1969. It is restricted to
Hidden Palm Canyon, south of Palm Desert in Riverside County. It
is found along the base of cliffs in the canyon, where continuous water
seepage occurs. The salamanders seek cover in crevices and under
slabs of limestone and other rocks.
The desert slender salamander is completely terrestrial. It can be
found on the surface of the ground only during late winter and early
spring under dirt clods, rocks and other objects on the canyon floor.
During dry, hot weather, the salamanders retreat underground to
Searches in other areas around Hidden Palm Canyon have failed
to turn up any desert slender salamanders. It most likely occurs only
in that one location. The salamander population is maintained by a
continuous flow of groundwater that keeps the soil moist. Destruction
of the salamander's habitat, either by loss of the limestone sheeting,
pollution or reduction of the groundwater supply would seriously
endanger the population.
A desert slender salamander reserve of 134.5 acres is managed by
the California Department of Fish and Game. Ground water pumping
and septic tank construction that would alter quantity or quality of
the water flow in the salamander habitat must be restricted. The
salamander's requirements for reproduction, food and population
maintenance are being studied.
The Colorado squawfish is the largest minnow in the world. A
slender, pike-like fish, it has been reported to reach lengths of more
than six feet and a weight of 80 pounds. The head may make up
one-quarter the total body length. Its color is bronze to olive, gradual-
ly changing to silver underneath.
They are found primarily in slow, deep, river water. Originally
found throughout the Colorado River system, Colorado squawfish
today are restricted to the Green River in Wyoming and the Yampa
River in Utah and Colorado. This squawfish is probably extirpated
from the California portion of the Colorado River.
Colorado squawfish are predatory fish, existing on aquatic insects
when young and becoming more and more dependent on other fish
after they reach a length of approximately four inches. Beyond eight
inches, they eat only fish.
Squawfish achieve sexual maturity when five to seven years old. At
this stage they are approximately 13—18 inches long. Spawning takes
place in the spring when waters are above 64 F. Exact details of
spawning behavior and locations are unknown. It is assumed to occur
in areas of deep moving water. The eggs adhere to rocks.
At one time the Colorado River was warm and muddy, but con-
struction of several dams along the river has changed the original
system. The river is now cold and contains several clear, deep and
slow-moving areas. The dams prohibit fish from migrating up and
downstream, and the cooler water may inhibit successful reproduc-
tion. These changes have probably also decreased the numbers of fish
which are eaten by the squawfish as well.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and state fish and game depart-
ments from California and Arizona, are working together to develop
an artificial rearing program in the hope of re-establishing a popula-
tion in the lower Colorado River. Studies also are underway to deter-
mine the habitat requirements of this uniquely adapted species.
Another species not likely to be seen again is the thicktail chub. It
derives its name from the thickened area (caudal peduncle) in front
of the tail fin. This stocky fish has large scales and a V-shaped head.
Color ranges from greenish brown to purplish black on the back, to
yellowish on the sides and belly. It grows to a length of about 12
The thicktail chub once occurred throughout the lowland areas of
the great Central Valley, in streams flowing into San Francisco Bay,
and in the Clear Lake system. It disappeared from Clear Lake around
1940 and the last specimen to have been collected in California was
in 1957 near Rio Vista. It may be extinct today.
Little was ever known about this fish. It was probably carnivorous,
feeding on fish and large aquatic invertebrates. At one time it must
have been plentiful, for it was the third most common fish species
found in the middens of Indian settlements in the Central Valley. It
was also sold in the San Francisco fish market around the turn of the
The thicktail chub is probably extinct. It may be possible yet to
discover a remnant population in some backwater area of the Delta,
but samples of this unique species now exist only in museum bottles.
The draining and filling of lowland marshes, agricultural develop-
ment, water diversion and the introduction of non-native species of
fish have probably all contributed to the chub's demise.
Cyprinodon nevadensis calidae
The dorsal fin of the Tecopa pupfish is closer to the tail than to the
head. The pelvic fins have six rays but the fins are small and occasion-
ally missing. When in breeding condition, males are bright blue with
a black band at the end of the tail. Females may have from six to 10
vertical stripes. These pupfish are scarcely more than an inch long.
This fish was originally found only in the outflows of North and
South Tecopa Hot Springs and associated ditches in southern Inyo
County. Recent field studies have not located any Tecopa pupfish
within their original range.
The fish survive in waters as warm as 108 F. Blue-green algae seems
to be the main food of this fish, however they are also known to take
small invertebrates such as mosquito larvae. Pupfish can produce
from two to 10 generations a year, depending on the temperature of
Although still listed as an endangered species, the Tecopa pupfish
may already be extinct. None has been found during recent field
studies. Agricultural and recreational development of the Tecopa Hot
Springs and neighboring land has eliminated the fish from the springs
themselves. There may still be some populations in the vicinity, which
have not yet been discovered.
Bonytail are a large species of chub that belong to the minnow
family (Cyprinidae) . They are now rarely seen in California, but if
one is encountered it can be readily identified by the extremely long
and narrow tail stock (caudal peduncle) and the deeply-forked tail.
A large hump is usually present behind the small flattened head. The
eyes are small and elliptical. The body is covered with small scales,
usually embedded in the body surface. Young fish do not resemble the
Bonytails were once common in the larger tributaries of the Colo-
rado River system. Most fish have been collected only from pools and
back eddies, but their body shape may be an adaptation that enables
them to withstand turbulent flows, to frequent faster waters for feed-
ing purposes, or to undertake spawning migrations. The water in
which they are found is usually muddy, with clay, mud, silt, or boul-
ders on the bottom.
Adult bonytail eat insects, algae, and floating plant debris. Young
bonytail consume aquatic insect larvae, gradually switching over to
surface food as they grow. Spawning takes place once water tempera-
tures exceed 64 F, usually in May and June. Spawning areas are
characteristically gravel riffles or rubble-bottomed eddies.
This fish is extremely rare, if not extinct, in the California portion
of the Colorado River because access to upstream spawning areas has
been blocked by dams and no suitable spawning habitat remains in the
California portion of the river. Bonytail are still present in the upper
reaches of the Colorado River system, where suitable spawning habi-
tat remains, but they are unable to move downstream under present
conditions. Future survival for this species is dependent upon main-
taining sufficient water flows in these upstream areas.
HUMPBACK (RAZORBACK) SUCKER
The most obvious feature of this species is a pronounced hump
along the back in front of the dorsal fin. Other features show typical
sucker characteristics. For example, the mouths have few papillae
(pimple-like structures), and the lips are divided by a mid-line cleft.
These suckers can grow to two feet long and weigh 10 pounds. They
range from dusky brown to olive-colored on the back and yellow-
orange on the belly.
This species is found through most of the Colorado River system,
but only in the main portion of the river in California. They are
generally associated with sand, mud and rock bottoms in areas of
sparse aquatic vegetation.
These suckers feed on algae and detritus scoured from stream
bottom rocks and sediments. The breeding season lasts from March
to May when water temperatures are 55 to 65 F.
This species displays an elaborate circular courtship "dance". Usu-
ally two or more males initiate a counter-clockwise circular swimming
motion accompanying a single female. The males nudge the female's
abdomen with their snouts attempting to induce discharge of the eggs.
This swimming activity may become so rapid and intense that bottom
sediments are stirred up, making the water cloudy. The final convul-
sive moment results in simultaneous discharge of eggs and sperm. The
swimming activity immediately ceases and sometimes the participants
may catapult into the air.
Recent collections along the Colorado River have found only small
populations of humpback suckers above Lake Powell and even small-
er populations above lakes Havasu and Mojave. These impoundments
appear to have changed spawning areas used by the fish, causing
decreased reproduction and a resulting decline in population.
The name, shortnose sucker, aptly describes the peculiar appear-
ance of this fish. The shortnose sucker has a large head with a blunt
snout that may have a small hump at the tip. The mouth is oriented
forward and has thin lips with few papillae. All other California
suckers have mouths that are subterminal (downward oriented) and
have large fleshy lips with numerous papillae. The body is cylindrical
and attains a length of 20 inches. The body coloration is dark on the
back and silvery to white on the belly. Spawning fish may show a
reddish tint on the sides.
This species is native to the Klamath and Lost River drainages of
southern Oregon and northern California. The distribution in Califor-
nia includes Clear Lake Reservoir, and its tributaries, Willow and
Boles creeks, Modoc County, the Lost River, Modoc County, and
Copco Reservoir, Siskiyou County.
Little is known regarding the life history of this species. However,
the mouth structure and the presence of numerous, densely-tufted gill
rakers suggest that these fish feed on plankton that they strain from
the water. The shortnose sucker apparently spends most of the year
in the open water areas of lakes, reservoirs and rivers, only entering
tributary creeks in the spring to spawn.
In California, ripe male and female suckers have been captured in
Willow and Boles creeks during the spawning season. Fry have been
observed being swept downstream into Clear Lake Reservoir soon
The decline of this species is attributed to the construction of
irrigation diversions with the subsequent export of water from the
rivers, and to the hybridization of the shortnose sucker with other
species of suckers. It is also listed as endangered in Oregon.
LOST RIVER SUCKER
The Lost River sucker is characterized by its large size. It may grow
36 inches and weigh up to 10 pounds. It has a small hump on the snout
and moderately thin lips with several rows of papillae on each. The
head is long and slender. The coloration is dark on the back and sides
with a white or yellow belly.
The Lost River sucker is native to the Klamath and Lost River
drainages of southern Oregon and northern California. Once, this
species was very abundant and widespread throughout the bi-state
area. It was an extremely important source of food for the Klamath
and Modoc Indians who caught and dried thousands of pounds of
these suckers each year. In California, the Lost River sucker is found
in Clear Lake Reservoir and its tributary, Willow Creek, Modoc
County, and in Copco Reservoir, Siskiyou County.
The Lost River sucker is able to project its mouth forward, appar-
ently an adaptation for digging in soft lake bottoms. They strain
bottom dwelling worms and insects for food. Spawning migrations
occur in early April after the water temperature reaches 50 F. They
spawn over gravel where the eggs adhere until they hatch. After
spawning, the adults leave the tributaries and return to the larger
rivers and lakes. In California, these fish spawn in Willow Creek,
where sucker fry have been observed being swept downstream after
Although the Lost River sucker was once very abundant through-
out its range, its numbers are now reduced. This is a result of con-
struction of irrigation diversions and flood control structures, which
have reduced or eliminated flows in the river systems. Hybridization
with other species of suckers poses an additional threat to continued
survival. Oregon enacted a bag limit on this fish in 1969 after deter-
mining that overharvest was occurring in the Klamath Lake snag
UNARMORED THREESPINE STICKLEBACK
Gasterosteus aculeatus williamsoni
Sticklebacks get their name from spines along their back. The
number of spines varies with the particular species. These spines can
be folded down against the body or locked in an upright position for
defensive purposes. Other spines art- also present in front of the anal
The unarmored threespine stickleback, as the name implies, has
three spines on the back and, unlike other sticklebacks, lacks bony,
armorlike plates aiong the sides. Color ranges from green to olive on
the back, changing gradually to silver on the sides. During the spawn-
ing period females are pinkish on the throat and belly. Males during
the same period display a bright scarlet throat and belly, with blue
eyes and green fins.
Sticklebacks live in slow moving streams and shallow pools con-
taining abundant algae and other aquatic plants. The unarmored
stickleback is presently known to exist in the Soledad Canyon portion
of the upper Santa Clara River in San Franciquito Canyon, a small
tributary below Soledad Canyon, the south fork of the San Jacinto
River, and San Antonio Creek. This species could once be found in
the Los Angeles, San Gabriel, Santa Ana and Santa Clara rivers, but
habitat destruction and hybridization with the armored subspecies of
stickleback has resulted in a reduction in range and abundance.
Sticklebacks feed primarily on aquatic plants and organisms living
on the river bottom. They can be observed either hovering in place
or swimming in a rapid, stop-and-go manner. In the spring, males
build nests of algae and display an elaborate courtship behavior. The
female will then deposit her eggs in the nest. The male fertilizes the
eggs and remains with them, guarding and ventilating the eggs until
The unarmored threespine stickleback is threatened by its nearness
to a rapidly growing urban area. Development of the Santa Clara
River watershed, introduction of exotic species, water pollution, chan-
nelization and all the other attendant problems associated with man's
use of the drainage pose potential threats to the stickleback. A joint
study between the California Department of Fish and Game, the Los
Angeles County Museum of Natural History, U.S. Forest Service, and
California State Polytechnic University at Pomona has identified the
major habitat requirements for this species. Management goals in-
clude: protection of the remaining habitat from physical degradation,
elimination of introduced exotic species, and restoration of degraded
OWENS TUI CHUB
Gila bicolor snyderi
Tui chubs are chunky fish with short, rounded fins, large scales and
a small mouth. The Owens tui chub can be distinguished from other
chubs by its gillraker count of from 10 to 14 and the seven rays of its
anal fin. The fish are dusky olive above and whitish to silver on the
belly. There are blue and gold reflections along the sides with consid-
erable amounts of golden coloration on the gillcover.
Originally found throughout the Owens River drainage, it is now
only found in an eight mile section below Crowley Lake dam. In-
dividuals also have been introduced into the Owens Valley Native
Fish Sanctuary. They inhabit shallow or sluggish, slowly moving
Little is known about the Owens tui chub, but inferences can be
drawn from other chub populations. Chubs feed on bottom dwelling
invertebrates, zooplankton, plant matter and small fishes. Tui chubs
congregate in large groups to spawn and do not make nests. The
fertilized eggs are probably adhesive and stick to rocks and other
The major causes of the decline of this species have been the diver-
sion of the Owens River and the introduction of predatory fishes. The
Owens chub also is threatened by hybridization with other forms of
chubs that have been illegally introduced into Crowley Lake.
l jh*£ f.
Pupfish are small, stout-bodied fishes, rarely exceeding two inches
in length. The Owens pupfish can be distinguished from other pupfish
by the position of the dorsal fin — midway between the head and tail.
The first ray of the dorsal fin is also thickened. There are seven rays
in the pelvic fins.
Pupfish display sexual differences in color patterns. The breeding
males are usually bright blue with a narrow black band on the tail.
Females are mottled brown above to whitish below and have dark
blotches or vertical bars on the sides. Immature fish resemble females.
Pupfish tolerate environmental extremes which would kill most
other fish species. They have been found living in water with tempera-
tures from 46 to 1 10 F, and twice as salty as seawater. They can reside
in shallow, slow streams or deep pools, provided sufficient food is
available. Today, Owens pupfish are found only at Fish Slough and
a small pond near Lone Pine, in the Owens Valley, Inyo County.
Formerly, this species was found along the Owens River from Lone
Pine to Fish Slough, near Bishop.
Pupfish are omnivorous, feeding on various foods including aquatic
insects, crustaceans, plankton, algae, and even flying insects that fall
into the water. This pupfish is credited with controlling the mosquito
population in the Owens Valley.
The fish grow to near maximum size by the end of their first
summer and can then reproduce. Males are highly territorial during
the breeding season, which lasts from April to October. During this
period males spend a great deal of time and energy defending up to
two square feet of territory. Only females are permitted entry into the
territory for spawning. A brief courtship chase precedes the deposit-
ing of eggs and fertilization. The small eggs (approximately !/ 16 of an
inch) adhere to the aquatic vegetation and hatch within seven to 10
days, depending on water temperature.
In 1964 the Owens pupfish, long thought to be extinct, was redis-
covered in a small pond in the Owens Valley. Since that time the
pupfish has been transplanted to the Fish Slough Ecological Reserve,
a sanctuary created especially for the pupfish. The pupfish is relatively
secure there, but the reserve and the number of pupfish are small. The
prime cause for decline was the draining of marsh areas for agricul-
Gila bicolor mohavensis
Although similar to the Owens tui chub, this subspecies can be
distinguished by eight anal rays and 1 8 to 29 gillrakers. The coloring
is also slightly different, with the Mohave chub being dark olive on
the back, changing to bluish or cream-colored on the belly. There are
brilliant bluish or gold reflections on the sides, giving a metallic
Originally found in the Mojave River from the junction of the east
and west forks downstream to Soda Lake, it is today restricted to Lake
Tuendae and springs near Fort Soda (formerly the Zzyzx Mineral
Springs Resort) on the west side of Soda Lake near Baker, San Ber-
nardino County. These fish have been successfully transplanted into
a few isolated areas in southern California.
Very little is known about the life history and habitat needs of the
Mohave chub. They are probably similar in most respects to the
Owens chub. However, the more numerous gillrakers suggest that
small organisms make up a greater proportion of their diet.
The introduction of the Arroyo chub, Gila orcutti, into the Mojave
River system has been the primary cause for decline of the Mohave
Extensive interbreeding has been a major factor in the disappear-
ance of pure populations of the Mohave chub. Fortunately, pure
populations still remain in Lake Tuendae. The area around the lake
has been acquired by the Bureau of Land Management and efforts are
underway to permanently protect the habitat.
RARE SPECIES IN CALIFORNIA
These animals have been declared rare by the California Fish and
Game Commission because their continued existence is threatened by
one or more conditions. If the answer is "yes" to any of the following
questions, the species (or subspecies) under consideration is designat-
1. Is it confined to a relatively small and specialized habitat, and
is it incapable of adapting to different environmental conditons?
2. Although found in other parts of the world, is it nowhere abun-
3. Is it so limited that any appreciable reduction in range, numbers
or habitat would cause it to become endangered?
4. If current management and protection programs were dimin-
ished in any degree, would it become endangered?
San Joaquin kit fox
California bighorn sheep
Peninsular bighorn sheep
Guadalupe fur seal
Mohave ground squirrel
Fresno kangaroo rat
Stephens kangaroo rat
California black rail
Giant garter snake
Alameda striped racer
Southern rubber boa
Kern Canyon slender
Cottonball Marsh pupfish
EXTINCT AND EXTIRPATED WILDLIFE OF
Several California animals are now extinct throughout their range:
Wolf (native subspecies) Pasadena freshwater shrimp
Long-eared kit fox Sooty crayfish
Grizzly bear Xerces blue (butterfly)
(native subspecies) Sthenele satyr (butterfly)
Santa Barbara song sparrow Strohbeen's parnassius
San Clemente Bewick's wren (butterfly)
Shoshone pupfish Atossa fritillary (butterfly)
Clear Lake splittail Antioch Dunes katydid
The following animals no longer exist in California, but they still exist
outside the state:
Columbian sharp-tailed grouse
Flannelmouth sucker *
* These fishes do not occur in California today. They are assumed to have existed in California waters at
one time, although there is no firm evidence of this.
FEDERAL LIST OF ENDANGERED SPECIES
No listing of endangered or rare species is necessarily complete.
New species of animals are still discovered from time to time, and
known species are added or deleted from the list as we gather more
knowledge of the world around us. In addition, both federal and state
governments claim an interest in endangered species and each pub-
lishes its own list. Because of differences in reporting procedures and
jurisdictions (the federal government has jurisdiction over marine
mammals, for example), federal and state lists may not agree.
Following is a list of species considered by the federal government
to be endangered:
San Joaquin kit fox
Salt marsh harvest mouse
Morro Bay kangaroo rat
Southern bald eagle
American peregrine falcon
Aleutian Canada goose
California clapper rail
Light-footed clapper rail
Yuma clapper rail
Santa Barbara song sparrow
California least tern
San Clemente loggerhead
Blunt-nosed leopard lizard
San Francisco garter snake
Desert slender salamander
Santa Cruz long-toed
Photoelectronic composition by
CALIFORNIA OFFICE OF STATE PRINT1NC
76123—800 6-77 37,500 LDA