Animals in California

California is the most biodiverse state in the United States, with its forests, grasslands, mountains, deserts, and even coastal habitats. Though it is best known for its lizard and snake population, you can also see many large animals in this state, like black bears, coyotes, elks, seals, whales, and sharks.

Animals in California (CA)

List of Different Types of Animals Found in California

The majority of the animals in this list are native to the state of California, with a few exceptions, like the American Bullfrog, which is considered invasive in the state. But even these animals have now become widely recognized as part of the state’s wildlife.


  • American Black Bear
  • Cougar
  • Gray Wolf
  • Bobcat
  • Coyote
  • Gray Fox
  • Mule Deer
  • Black-tailed Deer
  • Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep
  • Barbary Sheep
  • Tule Elk
  • Roosevelt Elk
  • California Ground Squirrel
  • Western Gray Squirrel
  • Western Flying Squirrel
  • Desert Cottontail
  • California Vole
  • Botta’s Pocket Gopher
  • American Beaver
  • California Pocket Mouse
  • Pacific Pocket Mouse
  • Western Spotted Skunk
  • Long-tailed Weasel
  • American Badger
  • California Least Chipmunk
  • Allen’s Chipmunk
  • Ringtail
  • California Mouse
  • Giant Kangaroo Rat
  • Western Pipistrelle Bat
  • Western Mastiff Bat
  • Pallid Bat
  • Hoary Bat
  • Western Red Bat
  • Big Brown Bat
  • Townsend’s Big-eared Bat
  • Yuma Myotis
  • Western Small-footed Myotis
  • California Myotis
  • Southern Sea Otter
  • Northern Elephant Seal
  • California Sea Lion
  • Harbor Seal
  • Gray Whale
  • Killer Whale
  • Pacific White-sided Dolphin
  • Short-beaked Common Dolphin
  • Long-beaked Common Dolphin


  • Anna’s Hummingbird
  • House Finch
  • California Scrub-jay
  • Northern Mockingbird
  • California Quail
  • California Scrub-jay
  • Mourning Dove
  • Great Blue Heron
  • California Gull
  • California Condor
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk


  • Western Diamondback Rattlesnake
  • Western Rattlesnake
  • Northern Pacific Rattlesnake
  • Southern Pacific Rattlesnake
  • Mojave Rattlesnake
  • Panamint Rattlesnake
  • Sidewinder
  • Gopher Snake
  • California Kingsnake
  • Southern Sierra Nevada Mountain Kingsnake
  • California Mountain Kingsnake
  • Common Garter Snake
  • Two-striped Garter Snake
  • Sierra Garter Snake
  • Eastern Racer
  • Western Yellow-bellied Racer
  • California Whipsnake
  • San Diego Gopher Snake
  • Baja California Ratsnake
  • Southern Rubber Boa
  • Northern Rubber Boa
  • Rosy Boa
  • Blunt-nosed Leopard Lizard
  • California Striped Whipsnake
  • Gila Monster
  • Desert Iguana
  • Common Chuckwalla
  • Western Pond Turtle
  • Desert Tortoise
  • Western Skink
  • Gilbert’s Skink
  • Western Banded Gecko
  • Western Fence Lizard
  • Desert Horned Lizard
  • Side-blotched Lizard
  • Northern Alligator Lizard
  • Southern Alligator Lizard
  • Colorado Desert Fringe-toed Lizard
  • Desert Night Lizard


  • American Bullfrog
  • Pacific Treefrog
  • Sierran Treefrog
  • Pacific Chorus Frog
  • Red-spotted Toad
  • California Toad
  • Western Spadefoot
  • California Newt
  • Rough-skinned Newt
  • Red Bellied Newt
  • Sierra Nevada Newt
  • Coast Range Newt
  • Arboreal Salamander
  • California Giant Salamander
  • Pacific Giant Salamander
  • California Tiger Salamander
  • Western Tiger Salamander
  • Long-toed Salamander
  • Ensatina
  • California Slender Salamander
  • Rough-skinned Newt
  • Lichen Brook Salamander
  • Wandering Salamander
  • Santa Cruz Black Salamander
  • Santa Cruz Long-toed Salamander
  • Sierra Nevada Salamander
  • Southern Torrent Salamander


  • Chinook Salmon
  • Coho Salmon
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Brown Trout
  • Brook Trout
  • Cutthroat Trout
  • California Golden Trout
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Striped Bass
  • White Seabass
  • Redeye Bass
  • Channel Catfish
  • California Killifish
  • Tui Chub
  • Blue Chub
  • California Halibut
  • Garibaldi
  • California Grunion
  • Pacific Bluefin Tuna
  • Yellowfin Tuna
  • Albacore Tuna
  • Pacific Bonito
  • Pacific Mackerel
  • Spotfin Croaker
  • California Corbina
  • Great White Shark
  • Leopard Shark
  • Soupfin Shark
  • Thresher Shark
  • Blue Shark
  • Bat Ray
  • California Scorpionfish
  • Pacific Herring
  • Opaleye
  • Halfmoon
  • Senorita Fish
  • California Sheephead
  • Yelloweye Rockfish
  • Lingcod

Insects And Invertebrates

  • Monarch Butterfly
  • California Dogface Butterfly
  • Western Honey Bee
  • Convergent Ladybird
  • California Mantis
  • Giant Desert Hairy Scorpion
  • California Tarantula
  • Daddy Long-leg
  • Western Black Widow
  • California Garden Spider
  • Mourning Cloak Butterfly
  • Western Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly
  • Behren’s Silverspot Butterfly
  • Callippe Fritillary
  • Red Admiral
  • Painted Lady
  • California Hairstreak Butterfly
  • California Trapdoor Spider
  • California Tortoise Beetle
  • Ohlone Tiger Beetle
  • Delta Green Ground Beetle


  • California Sea Cucumber
  • California Spiny Lobster
  • California Two-spot Octopus

State Animals of California

California State Animals
State AnimalCalifornia Grizzly Bear
State Marine MammalGray Whale
State BirdCalifornia Quail
State ReptileDesert Tortoise
State Marine ReptileLeatherback Sea Turtle
State AmphibianCalifornia Red-Legged Frog
State Saltwater fishGaribaldi
State Freshwater fishGolden Trout
State InsectCalifornia Dogface Butterfly

Animals in the Different Regions of the State

Being the third largest US state, its terrains can be divided based on the different regions: 

Northern CaliforniaSouthern CaliforniaCoastal California
The state’s mountain animals live in the mountainous regions of the Sierra Nevada and Klamath Mountains in this part of the state. Lake Tahoe is also part of Northern California.This part of the state includes both the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts. It is known for its reptile population, including the two most deadly rattlesnakes in the country.The coastal regions include the coasts of both Northern and Southern California
Mammals: Black bear, gray fox, bobcat, cougar, black-tailed deer, Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, Roosevelt elkReptiles: Mojave rattlesnake, western diamondback rattlesnake, glossy snake, California kingsnake, desert tortoise, common side-blotched lizard, desert iguanaAquatic Mammals: Elephant seal, northern sea lion, sea otter, harbor seal, Pacific white-sided dolphin, short-beaked common dolphin, killer whale
Reptiles: Giant garter snake, Pacific Northwest rattlesnake (the only rattlesnake native to Northern California)Mammals: Gray fox, cougar, American black bearFishes: Tiger shark, great white sharks (there are over 30 shark species found in these waters)
Amphibians: Redwood salamander, mudpuppyInvertebrates: California tarantula, western black widow, giant desert hairy scorpionBirds: California gull, double-crested cormorants
Birds: Gray-crowned rosy finch, American robin, California gull, bald eagle, Clark’s nutcracker, Anna’s hummingbird
Birds: Western screech-owl, roadrunner, cactus wren
Amphibians: Coast range newt


1. What is the most dangerous animal in California?

The state is full of deadly and venous animals, with all the rattlesnake species and mammals like black bears, cougars, gray wolves, and coyotes being some of the most dangerous to humans.

2. Are there any extinct animals in California?

The State Animal, the California grizzly bear, has been recorded as extinct since 1924 by the IUCN.

3. What is the rarest animal in California?

The gray wolf, California condor, giant kangaroo rat, Santa Cruz long-toed salamander, and Pacific pocket mouse are only a few of the rarest animals considered endangered or threatened by the IUCN.

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