This page is to serve as a comprehensive list of resources for endangered species survey protocols, recovery plans, and other pertinent information to help field biologists working in the state of California. it does not contain specific county or city level requirements, nor a comprehensive list of all special status species.
Please note these links are to help the reader gain an overview, but that Species List Pro is not the authority on endangered species or special status species, and to please always check with your local governing agency before handing any wildlife or plants.
Alameda whipsnakes are found in coastal scrub, chaparral, and grassland habitats in the hills east of the San Francisco Bay, and fall under the jurisdiction of USFWS with a status of Federally Threatened.
The Amargosa vole is a desert subspecies of the widely distributed California vole (M. californicus). The Amargosa vole inhabits highly localized and isolated wetlands in the central Mojave Desert in extreme southeastern Inyo County, just east of Death Valley National Park, and falls under the jurisdiction of USFWS with a status of Federally Endangered.
Arroyo Toads are found in coastal and desert drainages in central and southern California, and Baja California, México and fall under the jurisdiction of USFWS with a status of Federally Endangered.
The Buena Vista Lake ornate shrew is located only southern Tulare Basin (over 95% of its habitat has been lost), and falls under the jurisdiction of USFWS with a status of Federally Endangered.
The California Ridgeway's rail prefers salty and brackish water marshes with pickleweed and cordgrass and can be found in the marshes of San Francisco estuary. In south San Francisco Bay, there are populations in all of the larger tidal marshes. Distribution in the North Bay is patchy. Small populations are widely distributed in the San Pablo Bay and Suisun Marsh. The California Ridgeway's rail falls under the jurisdiction of USFWS with a status of Federally Endangered.
California red-legged frogs occur from sea level to elevations of about 1,500 meters, found primarily in coastal drainages of central California, from Marin County,California, south to northern Baja California, Mexico. CRLF falls under the jurisdiction of USFWS with a status of Federally Threatened.
California Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma californiense) Survey Guidance | Species Account | Recovery Plan Santa Barbara | Recovery Plan Sonoma | Recovery Plan Central California | ECOS Species Profile | Minimum Qualifications
The California tiger salamander occurs in grasslands and low foothills with pools or ponds that are necessary for breeding. The California tiger salamander found around Sonoma County and Santa Barbara are Federally Endangered, while those in the Central Valley are Federally Threatened.
The Casey's June beetle range is limited to southern portions of Palm Springs, generally associated with Palm Canyon Wash. Historically, Casey’s June beetle was associated with native Sonoran (Coloradan) desert vegetation located on desert alluvial fans and bajadas (compound alluvial fans) at the base of the San Jacinto Mountains. Casey's June beetle falls under the jurisdiction of USFWS with a status of Federally Endangered
The Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard is a small, highly specialized reptile that inhabits the windblown desert regions of the Coachella Valley in Riverside County, California. It falls under the jurisdiction of USFWS with a status of Federally Threatened.
The coastal California gnatcatcher is found in scrub habitat in southern California, from Ventura County south to northern Mexico. CAGN falls under the jurisdiction of USFWS with a status of Federally Threatened.
There are only around a dozen known populations of the Delhi sands flower-loving fly in San Bernardino and Riverside counties, east of Los Angeles. The flies live in fine sandy soil, known as Delhi series sand. The fly falls under the jurisdiction of USFWS with a status of Federally Endangered.
The giant garter snake is endemic to California and currently ranges from Glenn County to the southern edge of the San Francisco Bay Delta, and from Merced County to northern Fresno County, apparently no longer occurring from south of northern Fresno County. The giant garter snake falls under the jurisdiction of USFWS with a status of Federally Threatened.
The Laguna Mountains skipper is only known from a handful of sites in San Diego County, California, in the Laguna Mountains and on Mount Palomar. It occupies montane meadow habitats between 4,000 and 6,000 feet altitude within yellow pine forests. The larvae of the Laguna Mountains skipper feed solely on Cleveland’s horkelia. The Laguna Mountains skipper falls under the jurisdiction of USFWS with a status of Federally Endangered.
The giant kangaroo rat was historically present along western edge of the San Joaquin Valley, with occasional colonies on steeper slopes and ridge tops, from Kern County in the south to Merced County in the north. The population is currently fragmented into six major geographic units. The two units located in the southern San Joaquin Valley are the Kettleman Hills in Kings County's and Lokern, Elk Hills, and other uplands around McKittrick, Taft, and Maricopa in Western Kern County. Current habitat is estimated to be 2% of historical habitat. The giant kangaroo rat falls under the jurisdiction of USFWS with a status of Federally Endangered.
The breeding population of this vireo north of the U.S. - Mexican border now numbers only about 400 breeding pairs. It breeds only in a few scattered areas of riparian habitat in southern California, primarily along the coast and the western edge of the Mojave Desert. The Santa Margarita River in San Diego County supports nearly half of the U.S. population. Other sites are located in Inyo, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Riverside, Orange, San Bernardino, and San Diego counties. The least Bell's vireo falls under the jurisdiction of USFWS with a status of Federally Endangered.
The light-footed Ridgeway's rail (Rallus longirostris levipes) is found exclusively in salt marshes between Santa Barbara, California and San Quintin Bay, Baja California, Mexico. Nesting occurs primarily in dense cordgrass, wrack deposits, and in hummocks of high marsh within the low marsh zone. The light-footed Ridgeway's rail falls under the jurisdiction of USFWS with a status of Federally Endangered.
Marbled murrelets are unique birds in that they live along the Pacific Coastal areas, yet nest in trees. In California, appx 4,000 murrelets exist off the coast of Redwood National and State Parks. Unfortunately, that population is by far the largest remaining in California. The only other large population of murrelets, numbering only few hundred, is found off the Santa Cruz coast. Oregon and Washington each have roughly the same number of murrelets as in California. The murrelet falls under the jurisdiction of USFWS with a status of Federally Threatened.
The Morro Bay kangaroo rat is endemic to the vicinity of Los Osos in western San Luis Obispo County in coastal central California. The kangaroo rat falls under the jurisdiction of USFWS with a status of Federally Endangered.
The Morro Shoulderband Snail is endemic to San Luis Obispo County. It feeds on decaying vegetation and is usually found in moist areas under bushes or vegetative duff. The snail falls under the jurisdiction of USFWS with a status of Federally Endangered.
Northern spotted owls are typically found in old growth forests of northern California and the Pacific Northwest of the United States, as well as in southern parts of British Columbia, Canada. The owl falls under the jurisdiction of USFWS with a status of Federally Threatened.
Pacific pocket mice used to be found from Los Angeles all the way to the Mexican border at the southern edge of San Diego County. For 20 years, they were actually thought to be extinct until a tiny remnant population was rediscovered in 1994 at Dana Point headlands. Unfortunately, due to habitat loss there are only three small populations remaining, one on Dana Point and two in military training areas on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. The pocket mouse falls under the jurisdiction of USFWS with a status of Federally Endangered.
The Palo Verdes blue butterfly native to the Palos Verdes Peninsula in southwest Los Angeles County, California, United States. As its distribution has been proven to be limited to one single site it has one of the best claims to being the world's rarest butterfly. The butterfly falls under the jurisdiction of USFWS with a status of Federally Endangered.
The quino checkerspot once thrived in the entire area from the Santa Monica Mountains south to the northern parts of Baja California. There are now only six known U.S. populations in southwestern Riverside and San Diego counties, and one population near Tecate, Mexico. The butterfly falls under the jurisdiction of USFWS with a status of Federally Endangered.
The riparian brush rabbit lives in riparian oak forests with a dense understory of wild roses, grapes and blackberries. Until recently, only one population was known to remain. This population is at Caswell Memorial State Park on the Stanislaus River. In 2005, USFWS established a population on the Faith Ranch, which is owned by the wine-making Gallo family.The rabbit falls under the jurisdiction of USFWS with a status of Federally Endangered.
The salt marsh harvest mouse is restricted to salt marsh habitats of the San Francisco Bay system, and within this small range is highly fragmented. The mouse falls under the jurisdiction of USFWS with a status of Federally Endangered.
The VELB is currently known to occur from southern Shasta County to Fresno County. There are about 190 records, mostly based on exit holes the beetle leaves behind in the stems its host tree (Sambucus sp.). The VELB falls under the jurisdiction of USFWS with a status of Federally Threatened.
Vernal Pool Branchiopods (fairy shrimp) Survey Protocol & Protocol Data Sheet | Recovery Plan (southern Oregon & Calfornia) (Southern California) | Minimum Qualifications & Study Guide | Archive Standards
Vernal pools and swales (low lying trough-like depressions) are ephemeral wetlands that form in areas with Mediterranean climates that have shallow depressions underlain by a substrate of hardpan, clay, basalt, or similar restrictive layer near the surface that restricts water percolation.
The six "Listed Large Branchiopods" include the Conservancy fairy shrimp (Branchinecta conservatio)(endangered), longhorn fairy shrimp (Branchinecta longiantenna) (endangered), vernal pool tadpole shrimp (Lepidurus packardi) (endangered), Riverside fairy shrimp (Streptocephalus woottoni), The San Diego fairy shrimp (Branchinecta sandiegonensis)and the vernal pool fairy shrimp (Branchinecta lynchi).
Breeding western Yellow-billed Cuckoos are riparian obligates and currently nest almost exclusively in low to moderate elevation riparian woodlands with native broadleaf trees and shrubs that are 20 hectares (ha) or more in extent within arid to semiarid landscapes. Breeding populations exist in California in the Sacramento Valley along the Sacramento River and some tributaries, the South Fork Kern River, and restoration sites near Blythe on the lower Colorado River, as well as in areas of Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and Idaho. The yellow-billed cuckoo falls under the jurisdiction of USFWS with a status of Federally Threatened.
The Yuma Ridgeway's rail is a marsh bird found in dense cattail or cattail-bulrush marshes along the lower Colorado River in Mexico north to the lower Muddy River and Virgin River in Utah above those rivers’ confluence with Lake Mead. Significant populations are found in the Imperial Valley near and around the Salton Sea in California, and along the lower Gila River and the Gila River near the Phoenix Metropolitan area in central Arizona. In Nevada, this subspecies can be found along the Virgin River and lower Muddy River, along the Colorado River around Lake Mohave, and in the Las Vegas Wash. The yuma Ridgeway's rail falls under the jurisdiction of USFWS with a status of Federally Endangered.
The California Department of Fish & Wildlife maintains its own list of California State Listed Plants and Animals, known as "Species of Special Concern".
The California Native Plant Society (CNPS) is the authority on state listed plants in California. The Jepson Herbarium eFlora database is the typical authority for name changes. However, please note that your project may have specific requirements, and may wish to use different names or status listings for plants other than what is found here.
CalFlora - A great resource to get a simple overview of plants, where they have been observed, and photographs. Please note, however, this website is not always up to date with the most current name and rank status changes published by CNPS and Jepson eFlora.
CalPhotos - Another great resource for photographs of plants (and animals, fungi, lichens, etc)