List of mammals of California

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Though long extirpated from the state, the grizzly bear remains the official state mammal of California.

This is a list of mammals in California, including both current and recently historical inhabitants.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) monitors certain species and subspecies of special concern. These are mammals whose populations may be locally threatened, but which are excluded from federal and international conservation lists. Taxa of special concern in California are noted below, as are endemic, introduced, harvest, and vagrant species.


Total Number of species listed: 221, including 181 terrestrial and 40 marine mammals.

Opossums[edit]

Opossum(Didelphis virginiana)

Order: Didelphimorphia Family: Didelphidae

One species of opossum occurs in California.

Common Name Species Name Status Distribution
Virginia opossum Didelphis virginiana Common,

Introduced,
Harvest

Statewide up to

1,000 m (3,000 ft)

Shrews and Moles[edit]

Desert shrew(Notiosorex crawfordi)

Order: Soricomorpha Family: Soricidae

13 species of shrews occur in California.

Common Name Species Name Status Distribution
Mount Lyell shrew Sorex lyelli Endemic

Special Concern

Central Sierra Nevada

High elevation

Vagrant shrew Sorex vagrans 1 ssp of

Special Concern

North outside

Central Valley

Montane shrew Sorex monticolus Sierra Nevada and

San Bernardino ranges

Pacific shrew Sorex pacificus Northwest
Ornate shrew Sorex ornatus 5 ssp of

Special Concern

Central and

southwest

Fog shrew Sorex sonomae Northwest
Inyo shrew Sorex tenellus East central
American water shrew Sorex palustris Sierra Nevada, Cascades

and Coast Ranges above
1,300 m (4,000 ft)

Preble's shrew Sorex preblei Cascades above 1,200 m (4,000 ft)
Marsh shrew Sorex bendirii Northwest
Trowbridge's shrew Sorex trowbridgii North outside

Central Valley

Merriam's shrew Sorex merriami' Great Basin
Desert (or Crawford's gray) shrew Notiosorex crawfordi Southern deserts

Order: Soricomorpha Family: Talpidae

4 species of moles occur in California.

Bats[edit]

Pallid bat (Antrozous pallidus)

Order: Chiroptera Family: Phyllostomidae

4 species of leaf-nosed bats occur in California.

Order: Chiroptera Family: Vespertilionidae

19 species of vesper bats occur in California.

Order: Chiroptera Family: Molossidae

4 species of free-tailed bats occur in California.

Rabbits, hares and pikas[edit]

Order: Lagomorpha Family: Ochotonidae

One species of pika occurs in California.

Brush rabbit (Sylvilagus bachmani)

Order: Lagomorpha Family: Leporidae

8 species of rabbits and hares occur in California.

  • Pygmy rabbit, Brachylagus idahoensis (CDFW special concern, harvest)
  • Snowshoe hare, Lepus americanus (harvest)
    • Oregon snowshoe hare, L. americanus klamathensis (CDFW special concern)
    • Sierra Nevada snowshoe hare, L. americanus tahoensis (CDFW special concern; endemic)
  • Black-tailed jackrabbit, Lepus californicus (harvest)
    • San Diego black-tailed jackrabbit, L. californicus bennettii (CDFW special concern; endemic)
  • White-tailed jackrabbit, Lepus townsendii (CDFW special concern, harvest)
  • European rabbit, Oryctolagus cuniculus (introduced)
  • Desert cottontail, Sylvilagus audubonii (harvest)
  • Brush rabbit, Sylvilagus bachmani (harvest, except for endangered Riparian subspecies)
    • Riparian brush rabbit, S. bachmani riparius (CDFW special concern; endemic)
  • Mountain cottontail, Sylvilagus nuttallii (harvest)

Rodents[edit]

Order: Rodentia Family: Aplodontiidae

One species of mountain beaver occurs in California.

  • Mountain beaver, Aplodontia rufa
    • Sierra Nevada mountain beaver, A. rufa californica (CDFW special concern; endemic)
    • Point Arena mountain beaver, A. rufa nigra (CDFW special concern; endemic)
    • Point Reyes mountain beaver, A. rufa phaea (CDFW special concern; endemic)
California ground squirrel(Spermophilus beecheyi)

Order: Rodentia Family: Sciuridae

29 species of squirrels, chipmunks, and marmots occur in California.

Subfamily Sciurinae (tree squirrels and flying squirrels)

Subfamily Xerinae (chipmunks and ground squirrels)

Order: Rodentia Family: Castoridae

One species of beaver occurs in California.

Order: Rodentia Family: Geomyidae

5 species of pocket gophers occur in California.

The giant kangaroo rat (Dipodomys ingens) is endemic to California

Order: Rodentia Family: Heteromyidae

26 species of pocket mice and kangaroo rats occur in California.

Subfamily Dipodomyinae (kangaroo rats and mice)

Subfamily Perognathinae (pocket mice)

  • Bailey's pocket mouse, Chaetodipus baileyi
  • California pocket mouse, Chaetodipus californicus
    • Dulzura pocket mouse, C. californicus femoralis (CDFW special concern; endemic)
  • San Diego pocket mouse, Chaetodipus fallax
    • Northwestern San Diego pocket mouse, C. fallax fallax (CDFW special concern; endemic)
    • Pallid San Diego pocket mouse, C. fallax pallidus (CDFW special concern; endemic)
  • Long-tailed pocket mouse, Chaetodipus formosus
  • Desert pocket mouse, Chaetodipus penicillatus
  • Spiny pocket mouse, Chaetodipus spinatus
  • White-eared pocket mouse, Perognathus alticola (endemic)
    • White-eared pocket mouse, P. alticola alticola (CDFW special concern; endemic)
    • Tehachapi pocket mouse, P. alticola inexpectatus (CDFW special concern; endemic)
  • San Joaquin pocket mouse, Perognathus inornatus (endemic)
    • Salinas pocket mouse, P. inornatus psammophilus (CDFW special concern; endemic)
  • Little pocket mouse, Perognathus longimembris
    • Palm Springs pocket mouse, P. longimembris bangsi (CDFW special concern; endemic)
    • Los Angeles pocket mouse, P. longimembris brevinasus (CDFW special concern; endemic)
    • Jacumba pocket mouse, P. longimembris internationalis (CDFW special concern; endemic)
    • Pacific pocket mouse, P. longimembris pacificus (CDFW special concern; endemic)
  • Great Basin pocket mouse, Perognathus parvus
The salt marsh harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys raviventris) is endemic to California

Order: Rodentia Family: Cricetidae

29 species of voles and New World rats and mice occur in California.

Subfamily Arvicolinae (lemmings, voles, and muskrat)

  • White-footed vole, Arborimus albipes (CDFW special concern)
  • Sonoma tree vole, Arborimus pomo (CDFW special concern; endemic)
  • Western red-backed vole, Clethrionomys californicus
  • Sagebrush vole, Lemmiscus curtatus
  • California vole, Microtus californicus
    • Monterey vole, M. californicus halophilus (endemic)
    • Mojave River vole, M. californicus mohavensis (CDFW special concern; endemic)
    • San Pablo vole, M. californicus sanpabloensis (CDFW special concern; endemic)
    • Amargosa vole, M. californicus scirpensis (Federal and State endangered; endemic)
    • South coast marsh vole, M. californicus stephensi (CDFW special concern; endemic)
    • Owens Valley vole, M. californicus vallicola (CDFW special concern; endemic)
  • Long-tailed vole, Microtus longicaudus
  • Montane vole, Microtus montanus
  • Creeping vole, Microtus oregoni
  • Townsend's vole, Microtus townsendii
  • Muskrat, Ondatra zibethicus (introduced, harvest)
  • Heather vole, Phenacomys intermedius

Subfamily Neotominae (North American rats and mice)

Subfamily Sigmodontinae (cotton rats)

Order: Rodentia Family: Muridae

3 species of Old World rats and mice occur in California.

Order: Rodentia Family: Dipodidae

2 species of jumping mice occur in California.

Order: Rodentia Family: Erethizontidae

One species of porcupine occurs in California.

Whales, dolphins and porpoises[edit]

The gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) migrates off the coast of California

Order: Cetacea Family: Eschrichtiidae

One species of gray whale occurs in California's waters.

Order: Cetacea Family: Balaenopteridae

6 species of rorquals occur in California's waters.

Order: Cetacea Family: Balaenidae

One species of right whale occurs in California's waters.

Order: Cetacea Family: Delphinidae

11 species of dolphins occur in California's waters.

Order: Cetacea Family: Phocoenidae

2 species of porpoises occur in California's waters.

Order: Cetacea Family: Kogiidae

2 species of small sperm whales occur in California's waters.

Order: Cetacea Family: Physeteridae

1 species of sperm whale occur in California's waters.

Order: Cetacea Family: Ziphiidae

8 species of beaked whales occur in California's waters.

Carnivores[edit]

The island fox(Urocyon littoralis) is endemic to California

Order: Carnivora Family: Canidae

6 species of canids occurred in California. One was recently extirpated.

  • Coyote, Canis latrans
  • Gray Wolf, Canis lupis (extirpated, but occasionally seen wandering in from another state, may re-colonize in the future)
  • Feral dog, C. l. familiaris (introduced)
  • Gray fox, Urocyon cinereoargenteus (harvest)
  • Island fox, Urocyon littoralis (endemic)
  • Red fox, Vulpes vulpes (introduced)
  • Kit fox, Vulpes macrotis
  • Dire wolf, Canis dirus (extinct)

Order: Carnivora Family: Ursidae

2 species of bears occurred in California. One was recently extirpated.

Order: Carnivora Family: Procyonidae

2 species of this nocturnal, omnivorous family occur in California.

Order: Carnivora Family: Mephitidae

2 species of skunks occur in California.

Order: Carnivora Family: Felidae

4 species of cats occurred in California. One was recently extirpated.

Order: Carnivora Family: Mustelidae

Seals and sea lions[edit]

California sea lion(Zalophus californianus)

Order: Carnivora Family: Otariidae

4 species of eared seals occur in California.

Order: Carnivora Family: Phocidae

2 species of earless seals occur in California.

Hoofed mammals[edit]

Order: Artiodactyla Family: Antilocapridae

One species of pronghorn occurs in California.

Order: Artiodactyla Family: Bovidae

2 species of bison, cattle, goats, and sheep occur in California.

  • Barbary sheep, Ammotragus lervia (introduced, harvest)
  • Bison, Bison bison (extirpated in the early 1800s;semi-wild animals on private ranches may occur in CA, introduced wild population on Santa Catalina Island)
  • Bighorn sheep, Ovis canadensis (harvest)
Mule deer(Odocoileus hemionus)

Order: Artiodactyla Family: Cervidae

5 species of deer and elk occur in California.

  • Fallow deer, Dama dama (introduced, harvest)
  • Mule deer, Odocoileus hemionus (harvest)
    • California mule deer, O. h. californicus
    • Southern mule deer, O. h. fuliginatus
    • Inyo mule deer, O. h. inyoensis
    • Columbian black-tailed deer, O. h. columbianus

Order: Artiodactyla Family: Suidae

One species of pig occurs in California.

  • Wild boar, Sus scrofa (introduced, harvest)
    • European wild boar, Sus scrofa scrofa

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1] | NOAA Fisheries, Office of Protected Resources, Short-beaked Common Dolphin
  2. ^ [2] | NOAA Fisheries, Office of Protected Resources, Long-beaked Common Dolphin