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California Endangered Species

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Morro Bay Kangaroo Rat

The Morro Bay kangaroo rat, was last seen in the wild in 1986! This tiny native California mammal lived near Los Osos.  Some biologist believe a few colonies may still exist If you are out in the wild keep your eyes on the lookout for this endangered species. Hopefully it is not extinct. Photo by Moose Peterson, 1985.

Wikipedia link

Endangered Species/Possibly Extinct

River Otter

River Otters are very good at playing. They love to chase and wrestle with each other. This otter was spotted in the San Joaquin River by hikers on San Joaquin National Wildlife Refuge's Pelican Nature Trail. Many River otters have been eliminated in many areas of the southwestern US, including California. Improvements in water quality (through enactment of clean water regulations) have permitted river otters to regain portions of their range back. River otters are very sensitive to pollution and other things that threaten them are habitat destruction. Wikipedia 


Photo Credit: Rick Kimble

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Least Concern

Western Snowy Plover

This snowy plover is five days old and was rescued by a biologist who noticed her abandoned egg. Only 28 major nesting areas remain for this threatened species along the pacific coast. Plover nests are in the open in divots on sandy beaches and can easily be destroyed by human disturbance, predators or bad weather. Since 1990 a lot of agencies have tried to help and protect this species and they are seeing an upward trend in the numbers of birds.

 Click here for the full story on the  this little orphan.

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Threatened species

Baker's Larkspur

Baker's larkspurs is one of California's most imperiled plant species. It is only known to be found in one spot in Marin County. Wikipedia

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Critically Endangered Species


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Franciscan Manzanita

This plant native to San Francisco  was thought to be extinct until one was discovered in 2009. "Today, with the help and support of numerous volunteers, biologists, botanists, and botanical gardens, the Franciscan manzanita hopefully has a new future." Pacific Region USFWS

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Critically Endangered Species

California Tiger Salamander

The California tiger salamander is a relatively large, secretive amphibian native to California. Adults can grow to a total length of about 7–8 inches.The six populations are found in Sonoma County, the Bay Area the Central Valley, the southern San Joaquin Valley, the Central Coast Range, and Santa Barbara County.

The loss of California tiger salamander populations has been due primarily to the loss of habitat and predators, such as American bullfrogs.


Endangered Species

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