Redwood National and State Parks encompasses some 112,597 acres along the northern California coast and that of southern Oregon. This is where the tallest of all plant species, the redwood tree, grows. There are varied ecosystems within this region, ranging from forest environment to prairie to coastal. The wildlife that exists in the shadows of these redwoods is quite diverse and consists of different mammals, amphibians and birds.
There are mammals as large as black bears in the redwood forest and as small as bats. The black bear is the top predator on the food chain in terms of its size. It has competition from the cougar, bobcat and gray fox. The chickaree, a type of squirrel that specializes in eating the seeds of coniferous trees, thrives in the redwoods. The big brown bat also exists here, as do beavers, raccoons and otters. On the prairie adjacent to the redwood forests, there are Roosevelt elk, black-tailed deer and coyotes.
There is considerable moisture in the redwood forest, with the Pacific Ocean accounting for dense fog that blankets the region. This dampness allows amphibians to do well in the forest. The red-legged frog is one such species that takes advantage of these conditions. The northern rough-skinned newt is another. The California slender salamander and the Pacific giant salamander are unique to this region. The Pacific tree frog can be found on the ground or in the trees.
The spotted owl is one of the birds that call the redwood forest its home. This species has been at the center of much controversy since it inhabits the same coniferous forests that the logging industry covets. In Redwood National and State Park, the spotted owl need not worry about its habitat being destroyed. Other birds commonly seen in the forest include the loud Steller's Jay and the winter wren, which is the only wren that lives on other continents other than North and South America. The varied thrush and the chestnut-backed chickadee are also birds of this ecosystem.