California Department of Fish and Wildlife

The Status of Rare, Threatened, and Endangered Plants and Animals of California 2000-2004

Photo credits: Western yellow-billed cuckoo, Murrelet Halterman; Tree anemone, Susan Cochrane Levitsky

California is unique, renowned for its diversity of plants and animals, geologic features, and natural communities. Its uniqueness and rich resources have attracted multitudes throughout its history and this trend continues today. California supports the highest human population level in the United States; population growth is continuing. An increasing human population results in increased demands on the State's resources, including land and water. These resources are also the habitats for California's rare plants and animals.

California has the largest number of rare plants and animals of any state in the nation. Many of these species are at risk and are declining while others remain stable or are increasing. Loss of habitat, including habitat fragmentation, is the single, most important factor affecting the long-term survival of these species. Conservation of habitat and the natural processes that maintain habitat is central to protecting rare species now and into the future. The Department of Fish and Wildlife mission statement underscores the responsibility to conserve and recover California's rare, threatened, and endangered species.

With this report to the Governor, the Legislature, and the Fish and Game Commission, the Department of Fish and Wildlife presents its 2005 summary of the status of 79 animals and 223 plants listed under the California Endangered Species Act. The report provides information on the range and distribution of each listed species and describes factor that affect these plants and animals. Highlights of conservation and recovery activities implemented by the Department of Fish and Wildlife and other agencies and partners are presented, as are landscape-level, multiple-species conservation activities under the Department's Natural Community Conservation Planning Program (NCCP).

Photo credits: Western yellow-billed cuckoo, Murrelet Halterman; Tree anemone, Susan Cochrane Levitsky.