Animals in Redwood National Park

Animals in Redwood National Park
The Redwood National Park covers over 71,000 acres in northern California, with a number of different habitats within its boundaries. In addition to the rugged Pacific Coast, the park entails coniferous forests containing giant redwoods, the largest trees on earth. There is also a large grassy prairie environment as well as a series of freshwater streams and rivers. All of these assorted surroundings support numerous animal species.

Forest Animals

The amount of rain the coastal region receives allows the growth of coniferous forests that harbor many types of animals. The giant salamander, the California slender salamander, the Pacific tree frog and the red-legged frog are four of the amphibians in this forest. Bird species include the northern spotted owl, a species on the federal endangered list. The varied thrush, the winter wren and the Steller's jay live here as well. The very rare marbled murrelet nests in the forest and feeds in the ocean nearby. Mammals of this area are the big brown bat, squirrel-like chickaree, gray fox, bobcat and black bear.

Animals of the Waterways

The Smith River, the Klamath River and Redwood Creek provide an aquatic habitat for many fish, which in turn supply a food source for animals and birds. Two types of salmon---the Chinook and Coho---swim in these waters along with steelhead and cutthroat trout. Birds like the osprey, kingfisher, red-shouldered hawk and great blue heron subsist on the fish, snails, frogs and insects in the water. Raccoons are common along the banks of these rivers and streams, which also support otters and beavers. Mountain lions are formidable predators that stalk their prey in this region.

Coastal Wildlife

Observers along the coastal landscapes of the Redwood National Park have an opportunity to see marine mammals like the harbor seal, California sea lion, gray whale and dolphins in the offshore waves. In the tidal pools live species like the ochre sea star, purple shore crab, shield limpet and California mussel. On the sandy and rocky beaches killdeer, sandpipers, gulls and willets are common birds. Other birds use the stony islands that jut from the sea close to shore, known as seastacks, to nest upon without the fear of predators. The endangered brown pelican is one such bird, as is the double-crested cormorant, a skilled catcher of fish.

Prairie Creatures

The prairie ecosystem has two large ungulates, or hoofed mammals, feeding on its grasses: the Roosevelt elk and the black-tailed deer. Black bear and coyotes exist here along with birds such as the Allen's hummingbird, song sparrow and red-tailed hawk. Other prairie denizens include the northern alligator lizard, western toad and northwestern ringneck snake.

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