San Francisco Bay Wildlife
Wildlife of the San Francisco Bay Area

Mammals of the Bay Area

You can see quite a few mammals in the San Francisco Bay Area, if you know what you are looking for. Many are found in protected areas like State Parks but some, like raccoons and skunks, are even found in suburban environments. Several marine mammals can be seen in the nearby coastal waters and the Harbor Seal can actually be seen in San Francisco Bay.

A special whale-watching page will help you if you want to catch sight of these magnificent marine mammals.  ...more .

Bay Area Land Mammals

  1. Virginia Opossum - Didelphis virginiana
  2. Ornate Shrew - Sorex ornatus
  3. Vagrant Shrew - Sorex vagrans
  4. Fog Shrew - Sorex sonomae
  5. Trowbridge's Shrew - Sorex trowbridgii
  6. American Shrew-mole - Neurotrichus gibbsii
  7. Broad-footed Mole - Scapanus latimanus
  8. Desert Cottontail - Sylvilagus audubonii
  9. Brush Rabbit - Sylvilagus bachmani
  10. Black-tailed Jackrabbit - Lepus californicus  ...track 
  11. Mountain Beaver - Aplodontia rufa  ...more 
  12. California Ground Squirrel - Spermophilus beecheyi
  13. Sonoma Chipmunk - Neotamias sonomae
  14. Merriam's Chipmunk - Neotamias merriami
  15. Yellow-cheeked Chipmunk - Neotamias ochrogenys (Sonoma County only)
  16. Western Gray Squirrel - Sciurus griseus
  17. Fox Squirrel - Sciurus niger (introduced, not native)
  18. Douglas Squirrel - Tamiasciurus douglasii (Sonoma County only)
  19. Botta's Pocket Gopher - Thomomys bottae
  20. California Pocket Mouse - Chaetodipus californicus
  21. Deer Mouse - Peromyscus maniculatus
  22. California Mouse - Peromyscus californicus
  23. Brush Mouse - Peromyscus boylii
  24. Pinyon Mouse - Peromyscus truei
  25. Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse - Reithrodontomys raviventris
  26. Western Harvest Mouse - Reithrodontomys megalotis
  27. Dusky-footed Woodrat - Neotoma fuscipes  ...more 
  28. Desert Woodrat - Neotoma lepida
  29. California Vole - Microtus californicus
  30. Common Muskrat - Ondatra zibethicus
  31. Norway Rat - Rattus norvegicus
  32. Black Rat - Rattus rattus
  33. House Mouse - Mus musculus
  34. Pacific Jumping Mouse - Zapus trinotatus
  35. Heermann's Kangaroo Rat - Dipodomys heermanni 
  36. American Beaver - Castor canadensis  ...more 
  37. North American Porcupine - Erithizon dorsatum (Sonoma and Marin County)  ...more 
  38. Coyote - Canis latrans
  39. Gray Fox - Urocyon cinereoargenteus  ...more 
  40. Kit Fox - Vulpes macrotis
  41. Red Fox - Vulpes vulpes (introduced)
  42. Ringtail - Bassariscus astutus (please report sightings)
  43. Northern Raccoon - Procyon lotor
  44. Short-tailed Weasel - Mustela erminea
  45. Long-tailed Weasel - Mustela frenata  ...track 
  46. American Mink - Neovison vison
  47. American Badger - Taxidea taxus  ...more 
  48. Western Spotted Skunk - Spilogale gracilis (only Sonoma and Marin County)
  49. Striped Skunk - Mephitis mephitis
  50. North American River Otter - Lontra canadensis
  51. American Black Bear - Ursus americanus (only Sonoma County)
  52. Puma (Cougar, Mountain Lion) - Puma concolor  ...more 
  53. Bobcat - Lynx rufus
  54. Wild Pig - Sus scrofa (Non-native, introduced in the US)  ...more 
  55. Tule Elk - Cervus elaphus
  56. Mule Deer - Odocoileus hemionus
  57. Fallow Deer - Dama dama (introduced, Point Reyes only)

Bay Area Bats

  1. Little Brown Myotis - Myotis lucifugus
  2. Yuma Myotis - Myotis yumanensis
  3. Long-eared Myotis - Myotis evotis
  4. Fringed Myotis - Myotis thysanodes
  5. Long-legged Myotis - Myotis volans
  6. California Myotis - Myotis californicus
  7. Western Small-footed Myotis - Myotis ciliolabrum
  8. Silver-haired Bat - Lasionycteris noctivagans
  9. Big Brown Bat - Eptesicus fuscus
  10. Western Mastiff Bat - Eumops perotis
  11. Western Red Bat - Lasiurus blossevillii
  12. Hoary Bat - Lasiurus cinereus
  13. Townsend's Big-eared Bat - Corynorhinus townsendii
  14. Pallid Bat - Antrozous pallidus
  15. Brazilian (Mexican) Free-tailed Bat - Tadarida brasiliensis
  16. Western Pipistrelle (Canyon Bat) - Parastrellus hesperus


  • Bats in the San Francisco area, especially Fort Funston. Dr. Gary Fellers of the U.S. Geological Survey explains vocalizations and other behaviors of local bats. 

Mammals Articles and Links

  • Video and photos of animals captured by camera traps throughout the Santa Cruz Mountains by Yiwei Wang. 
  • Mammals of the Palo Alto Foothills, by Robert Badaracco, City of Palo Alto Dept. of Community Services. 
  • The River Otter Ecology Project is focused on River Otters in the Bay area  and provides a useful sightings map 
  • Return of North American River Otters, Lontra canadensis, to Coastal Habitats of the San Francisco Bay Area, California, by Paola Bouley, Megan Isadore, Terence Carroll, Northwestern Naturalist, Spring 2015. 
  • River Otters vs. Sea Otters: What's the Difference, Aquarium of the Bay 
  • Detailed notes, with photos, on all 3 species of Bay area Rabbits and Hares. The id notes for differentiating between Brush Rabbit and Desert Cottontail are very useful. 
  • A good overview of the Eastern Fox Squirrel that got introducted into California and is now displacing the native Western Gray Squirrel 
  • The Incredible, Edible Ground Squirrel by Kathleen Wong, Bay Nature, January 2008. The California Ground Squirrel is an important part of the web of life in the Bay area and affects the lives of many other species. 
  • Bats of San Francisco - a blog post by Jennifer Krauel, with a link to her Master's thesis about an acoustic survey of San Francisco Bats. 


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Related Links
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 |--Sea Otter
 |--Whale Watching
 |--Marine Mammals
 |--Mammal Notes
Virginia Opossum
Virginia Opossum - Didelphis virginiana (Campbell)
John Cramer
Brush Rabbit
Brush Rabbit - Sylvilagus bachmani (Rancho San Antonio)
randomtruth Flickr/Creative Commons
Bottas Pocket Gopher
Botta's Pocket Gopher - Thomomys bottae (Ano Nuevo)
Fox Squirrel
Eastern Fox Squirrel - Sciurus niger (introduced, not native, San Francisco)
Ingrid Taylar Flickr/Creative Commons
American Beaver - Castor canadensis (Martinez)
by Heidi Perryman, Worth a Dam
Gray Fox
Gray Fox - Urocyon cinereoargenteus (Coyote Hills)
by Jerry Ting
Long-tailed Weasel
Long-tailed Weasel - Mustela frenata (Coyote Hills)
Megumi Tedros Flickr
North American River Otter
North American River Otter - Lontra canadensis (Martinez)
by Cheryl Reynolds, Worth a Dam
American Badger
American Badger - Taxidea taxus (West Petaluma)
by Andy LaCasse courtesy of Paula Lane Action Network
Mountain Lion
Mountain Lion - Felis concolor
Tule Elk
Tule Elk - Cervus elaphus (Point Reyes)
By KQED QUEST Flickr/Creative Commons
Black-tailed Jackrabbit
Black-tailed Jackrabbit - Lepus californicus (Brushy Peak)
Desert Cottontail
Desert Cottontail - Sylvilagus audubonii (Round Valley)
Western Gray Squirrel
Western Gray Squirrel - Sciurus griseus (Windy Hill Open Space)
randomtruth Flickr/Creative Commons
California Ground Squirrel
California Ground Squirrel - Spermophilus beecheyi (Morgan Territory)
Common Muskrat - Ondatra zibethicus (Martinez)
from Worth a Dam
Coyote - Canis latrans (Morgan Territory)
Northern Raccoon
Northern Raccoon - Procyon lotor (San Francisco)
invertigo Flickr/Creative Commons
American Mink - Neovison vison (Martinez)
by Cheryl Reynolds, Worth a Dam
Striped Skunk
Striped Skunk - Mephitis mephitis
By Tom Friedel Creative Commons
Bobcat - Lynx rufus (south of Livermore)
Black-tailed Deer
Black-tailed Deer - Odocoileus hemionus (Garin Regional Park)
by Davor Desancic Flickr

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