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Wildlife of Griffith Park



Griffith Park's three squirrels, the western gray (note white belly), the eastern fox (tawny belly), and the ground-squirrel (speckled back).

Checklist of mammals of the Santa Monica Mtns.

Checklist of reptiles/amphibians of the Santa Monica Mtns.

Griffith Park Mammal/Herptile Survey Report - August, 2007

Griffith Park Mammal/Herptile Survey Report Appendices - August, 2007

Slideshow: Hidden wildlife camera in Griffith Park - October-December, 2004 This camera was installed by Chief Park Ranger Albert Torres in 2004 to photograph the elusive mountain lion reported in Griffith Park. Even though the lion never showed, a lot of other wildlife did! Take a look. Click any picture to start the show.

Griffith Park "missing" wildlife

Like plants and birds, the wildlife community of Griffith Park has never been studied. Thanks to the observations of many hikers and local residents, we know that most of the mammals, reptiles and amphibians found around the Los Angeles Basin are still found in Griffith Park.

In addition to strongly-urban species like striped skunk and opossum, Griffith Park supports a large population of mule deer and coyote, both of which often visit backyards at the park's edge. Bobcat and gray fox are also regularly seen, but are mainly active at night, when the park is closed to visitors. Three species of squirrels (above) occur together in the park, and present an interesting example of resource partitioning. Two are native, the western gray squirrel and the more terrestrial California ground-squirrel. However, our most common squirrel, the Eastern fox squirrel, was introduced from the eastern U.S., and is now "the" squirrel throughout most of Los Angeles. Fox squirrels are found throughout the park around trees, where they construct large, messy nests of sticks and leaves. Ground-squirrels are also widespread, but require soft dirt for burrowing. Gray squirrels are somewhat local, restricted to oaks and planted pines.

Reptiles and amphibians within the park include the tiny Pacific chorus-frog, the western toad, two salamanders (Arboreal Salamander and Black-bellied Slender-Salamander), and around 10 snakes and lizards.