Animals

Several young elephant seals on a beach, with one of the seals looking directly at the camera.
Northern Elephant Seals

Take time to explore Point Reyes National Seashore, and you will find that wildlife abounds. Animals at Point Reyes National Seashore range from large marine mammals such as the northern elephant seal to the relatively small endangered Myrtle's silverspot butterfly. Because Point Reyes National Seashore is part of the California Floristic Province (characterized by Mediterranean vegetation) and a zone of overlap of marine provinces (Californian and Oregonian), a wide variety of animals are found in the diversity of habitats.

Current inventories document approximately 80 species of mammals, 85 species of fish, 29 species of reptiles and amphibians, and thousands of aquatic and terrestrial invertebrate species. Nearly half the bird species of North America, 490 species, have been spotted here. Over fifty species of animals at Point Reyes are listed by the state or federal government as threatened, rare, or endangered. To help us better protect some of these species, the park uses remote wildlife monitoring cameras to gather information about the presence of species, the numbers of individuals, and their behaviors and habitat selection.

The animal life found at Point Reyes National Seashore is as varied as the landscape. Diverse crustaceans, echinoderms, mollusks, and other invertebrates may be found where water meets the land. Whether you choose to hike the mountains or stroll along the shores, keep your eyes and ears open for a chance to experience nature at its best.

Species Lists

Visit our Animal Species Lists page for lists to download.

Road Kill

Every day wildlife are killed on Marin County roads, including within the National Seashore. Please drive at or below posted speed limits to reduce the chance of colliding with wildlife. If you hit an animal while driving within the National Seashore and there is significant damage to your vehicle, or if you see a recently roadkilled animal that is creating a road hazard on a park roadway, please contact park staff at 415-464-5100 x2 x5. You can also help increase researchers' understanding of the extent of roadkill and help develop innovative ideas for reducing roadkill by reporting the roadkill to the California Roadkill Observation System.

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  • A medium-sized frog with black-spotted reddish skin.

    Amphibians

    Nine native species of amphibians may be found at Point Reyes National Seashore.

  • A small sparrow with a yellow bill, white and black stripes on its head, and a grayish-brown back.

    Birds

    With nearly 490 species recorded, Point Reyes National Seashore has the greatest avian diversity in any U.S. national park.

  • Three orange- and purple-colored sea stars cling to wet rocks exposed at low tide.

    Echinoderms

    Twenty-one echinoderms may be found in the intertidal zone at Point Reyes National Seashore.

  • A brownish-green salmon covered in black spots swims in shallow water.

    Fish

    Over 130 species of fish have been recorded at Point Reyes.

  • A large, brown cricket on coarse sand.

    Insects, Spiders, Centipedes, Millipedes

    Point Reyes National Seashore provides habitat to a large variety of insects, spiders, centipedes, and millipedes.

  • A brown-furred river otter stands on the shore of a wetland.

    Mammals

    Point Reyes is home to 46 species of native land mammals and the adjacent marine waters support at least 25 species of marine mammals.

  • A dark yellow-colored slug crawls across the flaky bark of a tree.

    Mollusks

    The phylum Mollusca is large and diverse, encompassing ten different classes of animals, including bivalves, chitons, and gastropods.

  • A garter snake with a red head and red and black body with a white stripe running along its spine.

    Reptiles

    Seventeen species of reptiles are found at Point Reyes National Seashore.

  • A camera in camouflage-colored box attached to a tree surrounded by green leaves.

    Wildlife Viewing Camera Systems FAQs

    Remote cameras can offer information about the presence of wildlife species, numbers of individuals, behaviors, and habitat selection.

Last updated: September 19, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

1 Bear Valley Road
Point Reyes Station , CA 94956

Phone:

415-464-5100
This number will initially be answered by an automated attendant, from which one can opt to access a name directory, listen to recorded information about the park (i.e., directions to the park; visitor center hours of operation; fire danger information; wildlife updates; ranger-led programs; seasonal events; etc.), or speak with a ranger. Please note that if you are calling between 4:30 pm and 10 am, park staff may not be available to answer your call.

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