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Natural History

Natural History

Western Bluebird {Sialia mexicana}

Ochre Sea Stars {Pisaster ochraceus}

Steller Sea Lion {Eumetopias jubatus

 

 

The Natural Environment of Fort Ross

Natural History of Fort Ross and the Sonoma Coast

Flora and Fauna of Fort Ross – The following is a list of some of the plants and animals that you can see at Fort Ross. This place is bursting with biodiversity!

Mammals – 

  • Black bear  Urdus Americans
  • Black-tailed jackrabbit  Lupus californium
  • Bobcat Lynx  rufus
  • Brush rabbit Sylvilagus bachmani
  • Coastal black-tailed deer  Odocoileus hemionus
  • Coyote  Canis latrans
  • Feral pig, from wild boar  Sus scrofa
  • Field mouse (vole) Microtus californicus
  • Gray fox  Urocyon cineroargenteus
  • Mole Scapanus orarius
  • Mountain lion (puma)  Felis concolor
  • Pocket gopher  Thomomys bottae
  • Raccoon  Procyon lotor
  • Ring-tailed cat  Bassariscus astutus
  • Skunk, striped  Mephitis mephitis
  • Spotted skunk (civet cat)  Spilogale putorius

Birds –

  • American (common) egret Casmerodius albus
  • Black-shouldered kite Elanus caeruleus
  • Blackbird, ch.Brewers Euphagus cyanocephalus
  • Brown towhee Pipilo fuscus
  • California quail Callipepla Californica
  • Common raven Corvus corax
  • Gold finch (wild canary) Carduelis tristis
  • Golden eagle Aquila chrysaetos
  • Great blue heron Ardea herodias
  • Great horned owl Bubo virginianus & others
  • House finch (linnet) Carpodacus mexicanus
  • Hummingbird,  Allen’s Selasphorus sasin
  • Anna’s Calypte anna
  • Junco, Oregon Junco hyemalis var.
  • Kestrel (sparrow hawk) Falco sparverius
  • Northern Harrier (marsh hawk) Circus cyaneus
  • Pigmy nuthatch Sitta pygmaea
  • Red-shouldered hawk Buteo lineatus
  • Red-tailed hawk Buteo jamaicensis
  • Robin Turdus migratorius
  • Sparrow, white crowned (weaver finch)Zonotricia leucophrys & others
  • Steller’s Jay Cyanocitta stelleri
  • Swallow, barn Hirundo rustica & others
  • Turkey vulture Cathartes aura

Reptiles & Amphibians –

  • Alligator lizard Gerrhonotus multicarinatus
  • Fence lizard Sceloporus occidentalis & others
  • Garter snake Thamnophis sirtalis
  • Gopher snake Pituophis melanoleucus
  • Rubber boa Charina bottae
  • Tree frog, Hyla sp.

Insects & Arthropods –

  • Beach fly
  • Bumble bee Bombus vasnesenskii
  • European earwig Forficula auricularia
  • Ground nesting wasp, Vespula sp.
  • Sowbug  Armadillidium vulgare & others
  • Tick, Western black-legged Ixodes pacificus & others

Flowers & Shrubs –

  • Adder’s tongue Scoliopus bigelovii
  • Azalea, Western Rhododendron occidentale
  • Bracken fern Pteridium aquilinum var. pubescens
  • California poppy Eschscholzia californica
  • California blackberry Rubus ursinus
  • Caenothus, Pt. Reyes Caenothus gloriosus & others
  • Columbine Aquilegia formosa
  • Coyote bush Baccharis pilularis
  • Douglas iris Iris douglasiana
  • Hairy manzanita Arcostaphylos columbiana
  • Himalaya blackberry Rubus discolor
  • Huckleberry, blue & red Vaccinium ovatum, parvifolium
  • Indian paintbrush Castilleja wightii
  • Lupine, bush & coastal Lupinus arboreus, littoralis
  • Orange monkey flower Mimulus aurantiacus
  • Orchid Calypso bulbosa
  • Poison oak Taxicodendron diversilolum
  • Redwood sorrel oxalis oregana
  • Salal Gaultheria shallon
  • Salmonberry Rubus spectabilis
  • Thimbleberry Rubus parviflorus
  • Trillium Trillium ovata
  • Wax myrtle Myrica californica

Mushrooms – 

  • Boletus edulis, Amanita muscaria & others

Trees –

  • Bishop pine Pinus muricata
  • Blue gum eucalyptus Eucalyptus globulus
  • Broad-leafed maple Acer macrophylum
  • Buckeye Aesculus californica
  • California nutmeg Torreya californica
  • California bay Umbellaria californica
  • Coastal redwood Sequoia sempervirens
  • Douglas fir Pseudotsuga menziesii
  • Grand fir Abies grandis
  • Monterey cypress Cupressus macrocarpa
  • Oak, live, canyon Quercus wizlizeniichrysolepis
  • Pacific madrone Arbutus menziesii
  • Red alder Alnus rubra
  • Silk tassle tree, Garrya elliptica
  • Tan oak Lithocarpus densiflorus
  • Willow Salix sp.

Marine Mammals –

  • Blue, fin whales Balaenoptera musculusphysalus
  • California sea lion Zalophus californianus
  • Elephant seal Mirounga angustirostris
  • Gray whale Eschrictus robustus
  • Harbor seal Phoca vitulina
  • Humpback whale Megatera novaeangliae
  • Minke whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata
  • Orca whale Ornicus orca
  • Porpoise, harbor Phocoena phocoena
  • Porpoise, Dall’s Phocoenoides dalli
  • Steller sea lion Eumotopias jubatus

Fishes – 

  • Cabezon Scorpaenichthyus marmoratus
  • Kelp greenling Hexagrammos decagrammus
  • Lingcod Ophiodon elongatus
  • Rainbow seaperch Hypsurus caryi
  • Rockfish Sebastes sp.
  • Salmonchinook & coho Oncorhynchus tshawytscha, O. kisutch

Marine Invertebrates –

  • California mussel Mytilus californianus
  • Gum boot chiton Cryptochiton stelleri & others
  • Limpets, Collisella sp. & others
  • Purple sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus
  • Red abalone Haliotis rufescens
  • Sea stars Pisaster ochraceous & others

Sea Birds –

  • Black oyster catcher Haematopus bachmani
  • Black Brant  Branta bernicla
  • Brown pelican Pelecanus occidentalis
  • Canada goose Branta canadensis
  • Common murre Uria aalge
  • Double-crested cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus
  • Gulls, Western Larus occidentalis & others
  • Loon Gavia sp.
  • Osprey Pandion haliaetus
  • Pigeon guillemot Cepphus columba
  • Scoter Melanitta sp.
  • Surfbird Aphrizia vergata

Marine Plants –

  • Bull kelp Nereocystis lutkeana
  • Feather boa kelp Egregia menziesii
  • Iridescent seaweed Iridaea acordata
  • Pink coralline alga Lithothamnium pacificum
  • Sea palm Postelsia palmaeformis

Former Inhabitants –

  • California condor Gymnogyps californianus
  • Sea otter Enhydra lutris