Inventory and Monitoring at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

View of rugged mountain landscape and small lake, with spring snow lingering on granite peaks and slopes.
West of Kearsarge Pass, Kings Canyon National Park

Photo by: Mandy Holmgren, The Institute for Bird Populations

These two predominantly wilderness parks lie side by side in the southern Sierra Nevada, east of the San Joaquin Valley. Extreme topographic differences and a striking elevation gradient (ranging from 1,370 feet in the foothills to 14,494 feet along the Sierran crest) create a rich tapestry of environments, from the hot, dry lowlands along the western boundary to the stark and snow-covered alpine high country. The parks are noted for their giant sequoias, high peaks and alpine areas, deep canyons, vast caves, numerous lakes, streams, and wetlands, and a high diversity of plants and animals.

These varied habitats support more than 1,200 species of vascular plants and a rich assemblage of animals, including large mammals such as bear, deer, and mountain lions; small mammals like chipmunks and pikas; 17 species of bats; numerous amphibians and reptile species; and more than 200 species of birds.


Inventory Highlights

Resource inventories are extensive, point-in-time surveys of plants, animals, or abiotic resources such as water, soils,and geology. The Sierra Nevada Network conducted biological inventories to help parks fill in information gaps on special
status species (rare or non-native) and other plants and animals for which there was limited recent information available.
Following are a couple highlights from these inventories:

  • Information about bat diversity and distribution increased. Sixteen species were documented for each Sequoia (two new records) and Kings Canyon National Parks (six new records). Taken together, a total of 17 species of bats occur in these parks.
  • Surveys for small mammals newly documented three species for Kings Canyon National Park: (western whiptail lizard, ornate shrew, and California mouse). Two species were documented for this park for which only single and old records existed (California pocket mouse in 1916 and pinyon mouse in 1942).

Periodic inventories are important to document changes in the species that occur in parks, where they live, and their abundance.


Monitored Here

In Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, the Sierra Nevada Network works with park staff and partners to monitor:

More Information

For more information about Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, park natural resources, and resource management and science, visit these park pages:

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Home Page

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Nature Pages

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Science and Research Pages

Last updated: August 10, 2018