List of Mammals Possible to See in California's Sierra Nevada Foothills east of Sacramento

The best way to get a handle on the mammals in your home area is to thumb through a good fieldguide with distribution maps for each species, and list the species the maps say appear in or very near your home. I happen to be in California's Sierra Nevada Foothills when I write these words, so below is a list of this area's mammals.

I've used the maps in Burt & Grossenheider's A Field Guide to the Mammals : North America North of Mexico. Many of the names are preceded by a "?." That indicates that on the maps my location was at the very edge of the area of distribution, so I just wasn't sure whether the species was found here or not. One problem is that I'm on the side of the Sierra Nevada mountains and many species may be found just a few miles away, either in the hot, desert conditions of the Central Valley below, or the cold, alpine conditions upslope, but never around my home.

Still, once I got the list together it was eye-opening. It helps me figure out which mammals to be looking for, and making the list was interesting. I hope you'll do the same for your own home area.


  1. ?Opossum
  2. ?Mount Lyell Shrew
  3. Dusky Shrew
  4. Trowbridge Shrew
  5. ?Ornate Shrew
  6. Northern Water Shrew
  7. California Mole
  8. Little Brown Myotis Bat
  9. Fringed Myotis Bat
  10. Long-eared Myotis Bat
  11. California Myotis Bat
  12. Yuma Myotis Bat
  13. Long-legged Myotis Bat
  14. Small-footed Myotis Bat
  15. ?Silver-haired Bat
  16. Western Pipistrel Bat
  17. Red Bat
  18. Big Brown Bat
  19. Hoary Bat
  20. ?Spotted Bat
  21. Western Big-eared Bat
  22. Pallid Bat
  23. Mexican Freetail Bat
  24. Black Bear
  25. Raccoon
  26. ?Ringtail
  27. ?Fisher
  28. ?Marten
  1. ?Shorttail Weasel
  2. Longtail Weasel
  3. Mink
  4. River Otter
  5. ?Wolverine
  6. Badger
  7. Spotted Skunk
  8. Striped Skunk
  9. Coyote
  10. ?Kit Fox
  11. Red Fox
  12. Gray Fox
  13. Mountain Lion
  14. Bobcat
  15. ?Aplodontia
  16. ?Yellowbelly Marmot
  17. California Ground Squirrel
  18. ?Belding Ground Squirrel
  19. ?Golden-mantled Squirrel
  20. ?Least Chipmunk
  21. ?Townsend Chipmunk
  22. ?Yellow Pine Chipmunk
  23. ?Merriam Chipmunk
  24. ?Long-eared Chipmunk
  25. ?Lodgepole Chipmunk
  26. Western Gray Squirrel
  27. Chickaree
  28. Northern Flying Squirrel
  1. Valley Pocket Gopher
  2. ?Sierra Pocket Gopher
  3. ?San Joaquin Pocket Mouse
  4. ?Heermann Kangaroo Rat
  5. Beaver
  6. Western Harvest Mouse
  7. California Mouse
  8. Deer Mouse
  9. Brush Mouse
  10. PiƱon Mouse
  11. ?Bushytail Woodrat
  12. Dusky-footed Woodrat
  13. ?Mountain Phenacomys
  14. Mountain Vole
  15. California Vole
  16. ?Longtail Vole
  17. Western Jumping Mouse
  18. Porcupine
  19. ?Pica
  20. ?Snowshoe Hare
  21. ?Whitetail Jackrabbit
  22. Blacktail Jackrabbit
  23. ?Mountain Cottontail
  24. ?Brush Rabbit
  25. Mule Deer
  26. Whitetail Deer