Eldorado National Forest


The Eldorado presently has a fairly diverse habitat for wildlife. This is due to its diversity in climate, elevation, soil, water, and other physical features. Logging activities and large fires, which have produced considerable sub-climax habitats, have added to the Forest's diversity.

It is estimated that the Eldorado National Forest contains a total of 340 species of animal life: 202 birds, 79 mammals, 24 reptiles, 20 fish, and 15 amphibians. Most of these species are inconspicuous creatures, seldom noticed by visitors, and are common to much of the northern California Sierra habitat.

The bald eagle, an endangered species, is found on the Eldorado during the winter months. Sightings of the peregrine falcon have been verified during the summer nesting period. Region 5 sensitive listed species found on the Eldorado National Forest include Sierra Nevada red foxes, pine martens, fishers, spotted owls, great gray owls, goshawks, and willow flycatchers.

The California mule deer, numbering 10,000 to 16,000 animals, is the Forest's single most sought after game species. Bear and mountain lion are found on the Forest. Small mammals include bobcat, coyote, weasel, raccoon, jack rabbit, porcupine, California ground squirrel, marmot, and Sierra pocket gopher.

The small game species are blue grouse, cottontail rabbit, gray squirrel, band-tailed pigeon, mountain quail, mourning dove, and an occasional wild turkey. Raptor species are golden eagle, red-tailed hawk, sharp-shinned hawk, and great horned owl. Turkey vultures are also common seasonally.

Over 100 species of song birds are found on the Eldorado. Some of the more commonly seen species are mountain chickadee, Stellar's jay, Clark's nutcracker, pygmy nuthatch, robin, red shafted flicker, myrtle warbler, fox sparrow, rufous-sided towhee, Oregon junco, white-crowned sparrow, yellow-bellied sapsucker, white-headed woodpecker, and acorn woodpecker.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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