The Tulare Basin features freshwater lakes and saline wetlands set amidst desert scrub and alkali grassland, interspersed with riparian forest, oak woodlands, and vernal pools in 39 different habitat types. The unique contrast of wet and dry environments created by this diversity of habitats provides homes for hundreds of plant and animal species and features one of the most concentrated occurrences of special status species in North America. The state and federal governments classify 125 of these species as threatened, endangered, species of special concern, or sensitive. Some of these plants and animals are only found in the Tulare Basin and depend on its unique environment to survive.
Over the past century, habitat loss, fragmentation, and degradation have contributed greatly to the decline of these plants and animals. Many species only exist on protected lands and populations are isolated from one another. While providing excellent habitat, these isolated patches may not contain sufficient population numbers or habitat size to maintain a population over time. Impacts to small, restricted populations that can lead to local extinction include: loss or alteration of habitat; introduction of poison or predators; genetic factors; and environmental perturbations, such as floods, droughts, or disease.
Tulare Basin Wildlife Partners works with public agencies and private landowners to protect and restore uplands and wetlands in the Tulare Basin to build habitat blocks of sufficient size so as to reduce the chance of species extinctions.
The Tulare Basin hosts 72 sensitive animal species, ranging from a variety of unique beetle species to the charismatic San Joaquin kit fox. Learn More
This region also features 53 sensitive plant species, ranging from several species of the Atriplex shrub to a wide variety of beautiful, showy wildflowers. Learn More
Tulare Basin Special Status Species
Click here for a PDF list of the special status species in the Tulare Basin.
Glossary of Terms
Native to or confined to a specific place or region; as in an endemic plant or animal.
Species of Special Concern
A species that is declining in number or has naturally small populations susceptible to extinction.
A species experiencing serious threats that may eventually lead to its extinction.
A species on the brink of extinction.
A species that has no living representatives.