Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs) is a complex of six refuges; Lower Klamath, Tule Lake, and Clear Lake in northern California and Bear Valley, Upper Klamath, and Klamath Marsh Refuges in southern Oregon. The refuges are managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the conservation and enhancement of wildlife and their habitats. Historically, the Klamath Basin was dominated by approximately 185,000 acres of shallow lakes and freshwater marshes. These extensive wetlands attracted peak fall concentrations of millions of waterfowl and supported abundant populations of other water birds including American white pelican, double-crested cormorant, and several heron species. During the early 1900s, many wetlands were converted to agricultural lands. Today, less than 25 percent of historical wetlands remain, most of which are protected by refuge status.
Diverse Habitats Support Diverse Wildlife
A variety of habitats occur on the refuges, including freshwater marshes, open water, grassy meadows, coniferous forests, sagebrush and juniper grasslands, agricultural lands, and rocky cliffs and slopes. Totaling more than 180,000 acres, these habitats support diverse and abundant populations of resident and migratory wildlife with 433 species observed or believed present on the refuges.
Viewing Refuge Wildlife
The Klamath Basin NWRs offer excellent, year-round wildlife observation opportunities. Auto tour routes are available at Tule Lake and Lower Klamath Refuges while Silver Lake Road at Klamath Marsh Refuge also affords good viewing. Self-guided canoe tour routes are provided at Tule Lake, Upper Klamath, and Klamath Marsh Refuges. A 10-mile walking and bicycle trail meandering by the marshland and through the forested upland is available at Klamath Marsh Refuge. Exceptional viewing of early morning bald eagle flyouts from their winter roost at Bear Valley Refuge is available just outside the refuge. More information on these refuges and facilities is available from Refuge Headquarters/Visitor Center.
Binoculars, a spotting scope, and wildlife field guides will enhance your viewing experience. Staying in your vehicle, when practical, increases observation opportunities and reduces disturbance to wildlife. Remember to stop by the Refuge Visitor Center for current wildlife viewing information.
The sighting of any mammal species is dependent upon many factors including size, color, habitat preference, relative abundance, and behavior. Generally, wild mammals are not as readily observable as birds due to their often secretive and nocturnal habits.
Mammals that are known or suspected to occur on or near the refuges include 78 species. For easy reference the list is categorized by family in accordance with Mammal Species of the World (Honacki, et al.l982). Common names and their order follow the Revised Checklist of North American Mammals North of Mexico (Jones, et al. 1982).
SHREWS ___ Vagrant Shrew ___ Trowbridge's Shrew ___ Water Shrew ___ Merriam's Shrew ___ Pacific Water Shrew
MOLES ___ Shrew-Mole ___ Broad-footed Mole
VESPER BATS ___ Little Brown Myotis ___ Western Pipistrelle ___ Yuma Myotis ___ Big Brown Bat ___ Long-eared Myotis ___ Hoary Bat ___ Fringed Myotis ___ Townsend's Big-eared Bat ___ Long-legged Myotis ___ Pallid Bat ___ California Myotis ___ Free-tailed Bats ___ Small-footed Myotis ___ Brazilian Free-tailed Bat ___ Silver-haired Bat
COYOTE, FOXES, AND ALLIES ___ Coyote ___ Gray Fox ___ Red Fox
BEARS ___ Black Bear
RINGTAILS, RACCOONS ___ Ringtail ___ Raccoon
WEASELS, SKUNKS, AND ALLIES ___ Fisher ___ Badger ___ Marten ___ Western Spotted Skunk ___ Short-tailed Weasel (Ermine) ___ Striped Skunk ___ Long-tailed Weasel ___ River Otter ___ Mink
CATS ___ Mountain Lion ___ Bobcat
ELK, DEER, AND ALLIES ___ Elk ___ Mule Deer
UNGULATES ___ Pronghorn (Antelope)
SQUIRRELS ___ Least Chipmunk ___ California Ground Squirrel ___ Yellow-pine Chipmunk ___ Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel ___ Allen's Chipmunk ___ Western Gray Squirrel ___ Yellow-bellied Marmot ___ Douglas' Squirrel ___ Belding's Ground Squirrel ___ Northern Flying Squirrel
POCKET GOPHERS ___ Botta's Ground Squirrel ___ Western Pocket Gopher ___ Northern Pocket Gopher
POCKET MICE AND KANGAROO RATS ___ Great Basin Pocket Mouse ___ California Kangaroo Rat
BEAVER ___ Beaver
DEER MICE, WOOD RATS AND ALLIES ___ Western Harvest Mouse ___ Pinon Mouse ___ Deer Mouse ___ Northern Grasshopper Mouse ___ Canyon Mouse ___ Dusky-footed Woodrat ___ Brush Mouse ___ Bushy-tailed Woodrat
VOLES AND ALLIES ___ Mountain Vole ___ Sagebrush Vole ___ Long-tailed Vole ___ Muskrat
OLD WORLD RATS AND MICE ___ Norway Rat ___ House Mouse
JUMPING MICE ___ Western Jumping Mouse
PORCUPINE ___ Porcupine
PIKAS ___ Pika
RABBITS AND HARES ___ Nuttall's Cottontail ___ White-tailed Jackrabbit ___ Snowshoe Hare ___ Black-tailed Jackrabbit
We are indebted to the many visiting professional and amateur wildlife observers who have assisted the refuge staff by providing important wildlife observations throughout the years. Our list is not considered final as we are sure new observations will continue to add to its accuracy. We encourage and appreciate all observations and ask that they be reported to refuge headquarters as soon as possible.
We would also like to express special thanks to staff from the University of California-Davis, Oregon State University, and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife for their help in the preparation of this resource.
For more information, please contact:
Refuge Manager Klamath Basin NWRs Route 1, Box 74 Tulelake, CA 96134 Phone: 916-667-2231