Wildlife & Plants

Federally endangered plants & wildlife

The federal Endangered Species Act protects more than 1,200 different plant and animal species that are on the brink of extinction. The Los Padres provides habitat for 26 of these protected species, more than any other national forest in California.

Species classified as endangered (E) are in danger of extinction, and species classified as threatened (T) is likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future. Candidate (C) species have declined to such a level that they qualify for endangered or threatened status, but the federal agency in charge of officially adding them to the list has not yet done so.

MAMMALS

Giant kangaroo rat (E)
San Joaquin kit fox (E)
Southern sea otter (T)
Steller sea lion (T)

BIRDS

California condor (E)
California least tern (E)
California spotted owl (Petitioned)
Least bell’s vireo (E)
Marbled murrelet (T)
Southwestern willow flycatcher (E)
Western snowy plover (T)
Yellow-billed cuckoo (Petitioned)

REPTILES & AMPHIBIANS

Arroyo toad (E)
Blunt-nosed leopard lizard (E)
California red-legged frog (T)
Foothill yellow-legged frog (Petitioned)
Southern Pacific pond turtle (Petitioned)
Western spadefoot toad (Petitioned)

FISH

Santa Ana sucker (T)
South-central steelhead (T)
Southern California steelhead (E)
Tidewater goby (E)

INVERTEBRATES

Conservancy fairy shrimp (E)
Kern primrose sphinx moth (T)
Longhorn fairy shrimp (E)
Smith’s Blue Butterfly (E)
Vernal pool fairy shrimp (T)

PLANTS

California jewelflower (poss.) (E)
Camatta Canyon amole (T)
Kern mallow (E)
San Joaquin woolly-threads (poss.) (E)
San Luis Obispo fountain thistle (E)
Southern mountain wild-buckwheat (T)

Sensitive species

In addition to the federally-protected plants and animals listed above, the Los Padres National Forest is also home to an additional 92 “sensitive” species. The population viability of these species is a concern due to current or predicted downward trends in population numbers or habitat capability. Whenever the Forest Service undertakes or approves an activity on public lands, officials are required by law to avoid or minimize impacts to these sensitive species.

The “sensitive species” found in the Los Padres National Forest are:

BIRDS

Bald eagle
Brown pelican
California Spotted Owl
Northern goshawk
Peregrine falcon
Swainson’s hawk
Willow flycatcher

MAMMALS

Fringed myotis
Mt. Pinos lodgepole chipmunk
Pallid bat
Tehachapi white-eared pocket mouse
Townsend’s big-eared bat
Western red bat

REPTILES & AMPHIBIANS

California legless lizard
Foothill yellow-legged frog
Lesser slender salamander
Pacific pond turtle
San Bernardino ringneck snake
San Simeon slender salamander
Southern rubber boa
Two-striped garter snake
Yellow-blotched salamander

FISH

Arroyo chub
Pacific lamprey
Santa Ana speckled dace

INVERTEBRATES

Monarch butterfly
San Emigdio blue butterfly (Petitioned)

PLANTS

Abrams’ oxytheca
Adobe sanicle
Arroyo de la Cruz manzanita
Baja pincushionplant
Bishop manzanita
Blakley’s spineflower
Bush mallow
Butterworth’s buckwheat
California satintail
California saw-grass
Caperfruit tropidocarpum
Carmel Valley malacothrix
Chickweed starry puncturebract
Club-haired mariposa lily
Cone Peak bedstraw
Cook’s triteleia
Cuesta Pass checkerbloom
Dudley’s lousewort
Dwarf goldenstar
Dwarf soaproot
Dwarf western rosinweed
Flax-like monardella
Fort Tejon woolly sunflower
Fragrant fritillary
Goosefoot yellow violet
Hardham’s bedstraw
Hardham’s evening-primrose
Hickman’s checkerbloom
Hickman’s onion
Hooked popcornflower
Hoover’s bentgrass
Hoover’s manzanita
Jolon clarkia
Jones’s layia
Kellman’s bristle moss
Kellogg’s horkelia
Late-flowered mariposa lily
Lemmon’s wild cabbage
Little Sur manzanita
Meager pygmydaisy
Mesa horkelia
Mojave Indian paintbrush
Monterey larkspur
Most beautiful jewelflower
Mt. Pinos larkspur
Mt. Pinos onion
Muir’s tarplant
Nuttall’s scrub oak
Ojai fritillary
Ojai navarettia
Pale-yellow layia
Palmer’s mariposa lily
Palmer’s monardella
Parish’s checkerbloom
Peninsular beargrass
Prickly spineflower
Pumice alpinegold
Refugio manzanita
Rock Creek broomrape
Ross’ pitcher sage
San Benito fritillary
San Bernardino aster
San Fernando Valley spineflower
San Gabriel alumroot
San Luis mariposa lily
San Luis Obispo lupine
San Luis Obispo mariposa lily
San Luis Obispo sedge
San Luis Obispo spineflower
Santa Barbara jewelflower
Santa Barbara honeysuckle
Santa Lucia bedstraw
Santa Lucia dwarf rush
Santa Lucia fir
Santa Lucia horkelia
Santa Lucia manzanita
Santa Margarita manzanita
Santa Ynez false lupine
Shevock’s copper moss
Slender mariposa lily
Small-flowered calycadenia
Smooth baccharis
Sonoran maiden fern
Southern alpine buckwheat
Southern jewelflower
Talus fritillary
Tear drop moss
Umbrella larkspur
Urn-flowered alumroot
Yellow woollystar

Other Species of Interest

Bobcat
California black bear
Coast redwood
Matilija poppy
Pronghorn antelope
Tarantula
Tule elk
Yellow-billed magpie
Yucca + yucca moth

Management indicator species

Management Indicator Species (“MIS”) are plants and animals that are monitored by the U.S. Forest Service because they indicate the effects of land use activities on the Los Padres National Forest. When monitoring indicates that their populations are declining, the Forest Service knows to make adjustments to how it manages the area. The Los Padres National Forest contains twelve MIS, including:

Arroyo toad
Bigcone Douglas-fir
Blue oak
California black oak
California spotted owl
California white fir
Coulter pine
Engelmann oak
Mountain lion
Mule deer
Song sparrow
Valley oak

California fully protected species

The State of California has classified certain wildlife species as “Fully Protected,” which means that they may not be killed or “taken” at any time. The classification of Fully Protected was the State’s initial effort in the 1960s to identify and provide additional protection to those animals that were rare or faced possible extinction.

American peregrine falcon
Bighorn sheep
Blunt-nosed leopard lizard
California brown pelican
California condor
California least tern
Golden eagle
Greater sandhill crane
Northern elephant seal
Ring-tailed cat
Southern bald eagle
Southern sea otter
Unarmored threespine stickleback
White-tailed kite