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Chapter 2 -- Description of the Smith River watershed (continued)

Wildlife

The Smith River basin provides habitat for sensitive species including wolverine, marten, fisher, pileated woodpecker, bank swallow, marbled murrulet, and spotted owl. Large snags and down logs are important for many species including black bear, fisher, and pileated woodpecker. Elk are found in and near agricultural areas on the coastal plain and the high country (California Department of Fish and Game 1980).

Migrating and resident birds use the lower Smith River, the estuary, Lake Earl, Lake Talawa, and other wetlands. Important wetlands near the lower Smith River include Tillas Slough, Tryon Slough, Yontocket Slough, and marshes south of Yontocket Slough (Funderburk 1979). Osprey nesting occurs along the Smith River in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park (California Department of Fish and Game 1980). A heron rookery was reported near the Smith River estuary. Shrub habitat is used by species such as brown-headed cowbirds, finches, and striped skunk.

There are five late seral reserves in the Smith River watershed which are divided into ten treatment areas. These reserves support many late successional species (Table 17 and 18). Sparse forests in the North Fork watershed prevent dispersal of old growth dependent species to the north.

 

Table 17. Late successional species of amphibians, birds, and mollusks known or suspected to occur in the Smith River watershed (McCain et al. 1995).

Scientific name

Common name

Known / Suspected

 

Amphibians

 

Ambystoma gracile

northwestern salamander

S

Dicamptodon ensatus

Pacific giant salamander

K

Rhyacotriton variegatus

southern torrent salamander

K

Plethodon elongatus

Del Norte salamander

K

Aneides ferreus

clouded salamander

S

Aneides flavipunctatus

black salamander

S

Ascaphus truei

tailed frog

K

 

Birds

 

Brachyramphus mamoratus

marbled murrulet

S

Strix occidentalis caurina

northern spotted owl

K

Accipiter gentilis

northern goshawk

K

Dryocopus pileatus

pileated woodpecker

K

Picoides villosis

hairy woodpecker

K

Sitta canadensis

red breasted nuthatch

K

Certhia familiaris

brown creeper

K

Empidonax difficilis

Pacific slope flycatcher

K

Chaetura vauxi

Vaux’s swift

K

 

Mollusks

 

Juga chacei

Chace juga

K

Juga orickensis

redwood juga

K

Lanx alta

highcap lanx

K

 

Table 18. Late successional mammal species known or suspected to occur in the Smith River watershed (McCain et al. 1995).

Scientific name

Common name

Known / Suspected

Phenacomys longicaudus

red tree vole

S

Tamiasciurus douglasii

Douglas’ squirrel

K

Glaucomys sabrinus

northern flying squirrel

K

Myotis volans

long-legged myotis

S

Myotis keenii

Keen’s myotis

S

Myotis yumanensis

Yuma myotis

K

Myotis californicus

California myotis

S

Myotis evotis

long-eared bat

S

Plecotus townsendii townsendii

Townsend’s big eared bat

S

Eptesicus fuscus

big brown bat

K

Lasionycterus noctivagans

silver-haired bat

K

Lasiurus cinereus

hoary bat

K

Martes americana

American marten

S

Martes pennanti pacifica

Pacific fisher

K

Gulo gulo

wolverine

S

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