Helping Our Peninsula's Environment
Imperiled Animals of our Greater Monterey Peninsula

By David Dilworth, HOPE Staff scientist and Executive Director

Animals and other Species of Our Monterey Peninsula in Peril

We share Monterey County with hundreds of animals and plant species. 

Because Monterey County has failed to adequately protect them we have caused the imperilment of some forty nine (49) animal species and 19 trees and plants to the point of needing official protection by Federal and State laws. 

Fortunately these 68 species have fortunately survived the many years-long, anti-animal protection process of fighting for official listing under Federal and State Endangered Species Acts, Fully Protected laws and Special Status species lists. 

There's More 

Yet, these 68 species are merely the officially recognized ones.

Experts know of many more threatened local species (some 33 animal species alone) which do not have any official protection1, and have no doubt there are many other species we will never know of before we cause them to go extinct - gone forever. 

We may eventually clean up our pollution and find new water sources - but when an animal goes extinct - it is gone from our planet, gone our solar system, gone from our galaxy - forever. 


Dozens of animals species are crying out for our help. 

Is anyone listening?

Locally, human actions have caused the real physical (as opposed to official) imperilment (and in some cases extirpation) of the following 82 local animal species. You can find the imperiled trees (e.g. Gowen Cypress), flowers and plants (Yadon's Rein Orchid Piperia), and other families here.

To see photographs and maps of ranges of many of these imperiled animals - please visit

Imperiled Peninsula Land Mammals
  1. Grizzly Bear (Ursus arctos - extirpated)
  2. Jaguar (Panthera onca - extirpated)
  3. Mountain Lion (felis concolor)
  4. Pacific Fisher (Martes pennanti pacifica)
  5. River Otter (Lontra canadensis)
  6. Beavers (Castor canadensis)
  7. Wolverine (Gulo gulo)
  8. American Badger (Taxidea taxus) 
  9. Gray Fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus)
  10. Gray Wolf (Canis lupus)
  11. Tule Elk (Cervus nannodes)
  12. Pronghorn Antelope (Antilocapra americana)
  13. Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus) 
  14. San Joaquin Kit Fox (Vulpes macrotis mutica) 
  15. San Joaquin Antelope Squirrel (Ammospermophilus nelsoni)
  16. Monterey Dusky-Footed Woodrat (Neotoma fuscipes luciana)
  17. Giant Kangaroo Rat (Dipodomys ingens)
  18. Monterey Ornate Shrew (Sorex ornatus salarius)



Imperiled Peninsula Flying Animals:

Birds, Bats, & Butterflies

  • California Condor (Gymnogyps californianius)
  • Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
  • Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos)
  • American Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus anatum)
  • Western Goshawk (Astur atricapillus striatulus) Alt
  • Swainson's Hawk (Buteo swainsoni)
  • Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus)
  • Cooper's Hawk (Accipter cooperi)
  • Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis) 
  • Merlin (Falco columbarius)
  • Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)



  • Northern Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis caurina)
  • California Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis)
  • Great Gray Owl (Strix nebulosa)
  • Elf Owl (Micrathene whitneyi)
  • Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus)



  • Western Snowy Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus)
  • Least Bell's Vireo (Vireo bellii pusillus)
  • California Least Tern (Sterna antillarium browni)
  • California Clapper Rail (Rallus Longirostris Obsolet??)
  • California Black Rail (Laterallus jamaicensis coturniculus)
  • Bank Swallow (Riparia riparia)
  • (Southwestern) Willow Flycatcher
  • White Tailed Kite (Elanus leucurus) 



  • California Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis californicus)
  • Marbled Murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus)
  • Short tailed-Albatross (Diomedea albatrus)



  • Pallid Bat (Antrozous pallidus)
  • Yuma Bat (Myotis Yumanensis) 
  • Western Small-footed bat (Myotis ciliolabrum) 
  • Long legged bat (Myotis volans) 
  • Fringed Bat (Myotis thysanodes) 
  • Western long-eared bat (Myotis evotis) 
  • Townsends big-eared bat (Corynorhinus townsendii) 
  • Western mastiff bat (Eumops perotis) 
  • Western Red bat (Lasiurus belossevillii)



  • Smith's Blue Butterfly (Euphilotes enoptes smithi)




    Imperiled Peninsula Amphibians & Reptiles

  • California Red-Legged Frog (Rana aurora draytonii) 
  • California Tiger Salamander 
  • Southwestern Pond Turtle (Clemmys marmarota)
  • Santa Cruz Long-Toed Salamander
  • Arroyo Southwestern Toad
  • Western Spadefoot Toad (Scaphiopus hammondi)
  • Blunt-Nosed Leopard Lizard
  • California Horned Lizard




    Imperiled Peninsula Animals

    Fish & Shrimp

  • Great White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias)
  • Coho Salmon (Oncorhynchus kisuch)
  • Tidewater Goby (Eucyclogobius newberryi)
  • Vernal Pool Fairy Shrimp (Branchinecta lynchi)
  • Mysid Shrimp (Neomysis kadiakensis)
  • West Coast Steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss)




    Imperiled Peninsula Marine Mammals

  • Southern Sea Otter (Enhydra lutrus nereis)
  • California Sea Lion (Zalophus californiaus)
  • Harbor Seal 
  • Stellar Sea Lion (Eumetopias jubata) 
  • Elephant Seal (Mirounga angustirostrus) 
  • Sea Turtles (All five species) 
  • Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus) 
  • Humpback Whale 
  • Gray Whale (Eschrichtius robustus) 
  • Sei Whale 
  • Sperm Whale
  • Finback Whale 
  • Right Whale




    1. "More than 700 threatened [animal] species remain completely unprotected." Conservation International, September 11, 2003 (223 bird, 140 mammal and 346 amphibian species) 

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    This Page Last Updated April 28, 2004

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