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Mammals on the Kern River Preserve



Mammals    Birds     Reptiles     Amphibians      Fish    Insects   Spiders     Dragonflies     Grasshoppers     Butterflies     Crayfish


NOTE: There is no collecting, fishing, or hunting on the preserve. If you see any animal or plant on the preserve, please take only pictures and memories. Do not disturb nesting birds. Do not go off trail.



Printable poster of KRP Mammals (2.5MB)

Mammal Diversity and the Kern River Research Center





Salamanders of the KRV





Insects including spiders

More mammals live in this region than any other place in North America north of Mexico. The amazing diversity is a product of our geographical and climatic variation.

On Audubon's Kern River Preserve alone 49 species of mammals not including humans have been recorded. There are represented in that group from seven orders in the class mammalia. That number is really impressive when you consider there are only 5,400 species of mammals in the world and they mostly only travel on foot. This means the Kern River Preserve has just under 1% of the world total.

Order Marsupialia



Family Didelphidae




Virginia opossum

Didelphis virginiana

Suburban areas, riparian areas. Introduced from the Eastern U. S.

Order Insectivora



Family Soricidae





Ornate Shrew

Sorex ornatus

grassland, marsh

Order Chiroptera

Family Vespertilionidae

long-eared myotis

Myotis evotis

forests, parks,. lives in caves, trees, and buildings


fringed myotis

Myotis thysanodes

caves, old buildings


western small-footed myotis

Myotis ciliolabrum

caves, rock crevices, mine tunnels, buildings, near trees


California myotis

Myotis californicus

desert scrub, chaparral, forest, woodland

Yuma myotis

Myotis yumanensis

open forests


western pipistrelle

Pipistrellus hesperus

brush, woodlands, desert scrub

big brown bat

Eptesicus fuscus

all habitats, roosts in small groups, caves, buildings


hoary bat

Lasiurus cinereus

woodlands, forests


western red bat

Lasiurus blossevillii

grassland, woodland, shrubland, forest


pale big-eared bat

Corynorhinus townsendii

Mountains - Desert - Valley


pallid bat

Antrozous pallidus

Mountains, Kern Valley


Family Molossidae

Mexican free-tailed bat

Tadarida brasiliensis



Order Carnivora


Family Canidae









gray fox

Urocyon cinereoargenteus

Mountains, Foothills, oak woodland


Canis latrans

valley, desert, mountains. All habitats

Family Ursidae











black bear

Ursus americanus

forest, foothill woodland

Family Procyonidae









Procyon lotor

suburban, parkland, riparian

Family Mustelidae







long-tailed weasel

Mustela frenata

grassland, shrubland, agricultural fields


Taxidea taxus

sandy areas near water

Family Mephitidae







western spotted skunk

Spilogale gracilis

riparian areas, canyons

striped skunk

Mephitis mephitis

all habitats, prefers riparian

Family Felidae  










Felis rufus 

mountains, desert, valley, riparian, shrubland

mountain lion

Felis concolor  

one male lion per 600 sq miles - female 200 sq mi




Family Cervidae   





mule deer

Odocoileus hemionus 

tail varies across the range but all Sierra and Coast Range native deer are mule deer

Family Bovidae









Bos taurus     

present with seasonal grazing




Family Sciuridae




Merriam’s chipmunk

Tamias merriami

very rare in the gray pine woodland

white-tailed antelope squirrel

Ammospermophilus leucurus

rare in the rabbitbrush/cactus areas

California ground squirrel

Otospermophilus beecheyi

throughout the preserve

Family Castoridae



Castor canadensis

introduced to the Kern River Valley along rivers and the reservoir


Family Geomyidae 







Botta’s pocket gopher

Thomomys bottae

ground dwelling

Family Heteromyidae





little pocket mouse

Perognathus longimembris


California pocket mouse

Chaetodipus californicus


Panamint kangaroo rat

Dipodomys panamintinus


Pacific kangaroo rat

Dipodomys agilis


Merriam’s kangaroo rat

Dipodomys merriami



Family Muridae








Bryant's woodrat

Neotoma bryantii

common in all but the riparian forest

big-eared woodrat

Neotoma macrotis

uncommon only in the riparian forest

southern grasshopper mouse

Onychomys torridus

dry juniper woodland very rare

deer mouse

Peromyscus maniculatus 

throughout the preserve very common

brush mouse

Peromyscus boylii

gray woodland canyon uncommon

pinyon mouse

Peromyscus truei

rocky areas very rare

western harvest mouse

Reithrodontomys megalotis

throughout the preserve

California vole

Microtus californicus

only in grassy marshes

house mouse

Mus musculus

introduced and very rare




Family Leporidae







Brush Rabbit        

Sylvilagus bachmani

deep within the forest - uncommon

Desert cottontail

Sylvilagus audubonii

throughout the preserve generally within 100' of low cover

Black-tailed jackrabbit

Lepus californicus

open arid shrubby areas

About Audubon Kern River Preserve

The Kern River Preserve is managed by Audubon California for the preservation of one of California’s largest contiguous cottonwood-willow riparian forests and the wildlife it supports.

Audubon Kern River Preserve supporters provide financial and volunteer support for Preserve outreach, education, wildlife habitat protection & stewardship.


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Kern River Preserve • P.O. Box 1662 • 18747 Hwy. 178 • Weldon, CA 93283
Copyright 1998-2013 by Audubon California | National Audubon. All rights reserved.

This site was created on October 21, 1998. Please Email to make comments or offer suggestions.