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Wildlife Branch - Nongame Wildlife Program

“Conserving California’s Biodiversity”

banner of wildlife photos: snake, butterfly, bird, salamander, fisher

California has more native species of animals and plants than any other state in the nation, including approximately 68 amphibians, 85 reptiles, 429 birds, and 185 mammals, which are the focus of this program. It is also home to the greatest number of endemic species, those that occur nowhere else in the world. This Program works to recover listed species and to prevent the need to list any more. Our work emphasizes Threatened and Endangered Species and Species of Special Concern, and includes resource assessment, research, conservation planning, recovery planning, science permitting, and outreach activities. We seek to build strong partnerships and to provide valued leadership for other groups that can help secure the future for nongame wildlife in California.


What We Do

Threatened and Endangered Species

We coordinate CDFW's evaluation of petitions submitted to the Fish and Game Commission for listing of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians under the California Endangered Species Act, as well as participate in the preparation of listing proposals and recovery plans for priority imperiled species in these same taxa groups.

Species of Special Concern

We are also responsible for producing and updating Species of Special Concern publications for mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. The purpose is to identify animals that need conservation in order to avoid the need to list under the California Endangered Species Act.

Scientific Permits

We evaluate and process all permit applications for take of nongame species of amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals for research, propagation, and education; over 600 permits per year. If a species is listed under CESA or is fully protected, we develop Memorandums of Understanding between CDFW and qualified scientific researchers and managers to further the conservation and recovery of the species.


We coordinate the solicitation, review, and selection of grant proposals for three different federal grant programs, including State Wildlife Grants, Endangered Species Conservation and Recovery Grants, and Endangered Species Conservation and Recovery Land Acquisition Grants.

Program Library

Reports, publications, and other documents pertaining to nongame wildlife species or their habitat are uploaded to CDFW's Document Library in order to provide public access to these resources.

Hot Topics

  • Townsend' Big-eared Bat - CA Fish and Game Commission voted to not list under CESA. link opens in new windowNotice of Findings
  • Flat-tailed Horned Lizard - CA Fish and Game Commission voted to not list under CESA at December Meeting
  • Grants - Endangered Species Conservation and Recovery Program - link opens in new window2017 Public Solicitation Notice (PDF)  due January 31, 2017.

Help imperiled animals at tax time; donate on line 403 of your tax form - open tax donation page

Wildlife Branch - Nongame Wildlife
1812 9th Street
Sacramento, CA 95811
(916) 445-0411


Our mission is to conserve the rich diversity of California's native nongame wildlife, which includes more than 600 species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.