California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Mammal Species of Special Concern

The most current list of mammal species of special concern may be found on CDFW's Special Animals list (PDF).

In 1986, the Department of Fish and Wildlife published "Mammalian Species of Special Concern in California," (PDF) by D.F. Williams. The 1986 publication included a list of 36 species and subspecies of land mammals native to California determined by the author and the Department to be potentially threatened with extinction in the State. Species accounts for each taxon included initial description references, information on distribution, population status, habitat, recommendations for additional assessment and conservation actions, taxonomic remarks, and distribution records.

A 1998 update to the 1986 publication was never finalized by the contractors and did not receive peer review. However, this report contains valuable information and maps, and is posted here as an informational update to Williams (1986).

The Department is embarking on a new update and revision to the MSSC list using the criteria and methods outlined on the main Species of Special Concern web page. The Department is working with Conservation Biology Institute (CBI) to conduct analyses of the status of California's native land mammals. The information will be used to prepare a revised MSSC document by July 2011.

The MSSC Update and Revision Project Timeline is posted here. Persons with records of potential special concern mammals not already incorporated into CDFW's CNDDB or BIOS databases, nor recorded in one of the cooperating collections in the MaNIS system, should contact MSSC Contract Manager Scott Osborn.

Additional project information will soon be available at CBI's Data Basin.