Mammals of Knowland Park

Mammals found in Knowland Park range from the 100+ lb. mountain lion down to the tiny shrew that weighs a few ounces. Although active year round, many of the mammals are nocturnal, staying hidden from view during the day–the best time to catch a glimpse is dusk or dawn. Most of the park’s mammals have fur in shades of brown or gray and are well camouflaged with the notable exception of the striped skunk whose distinct black and white fur advertises a warning to potential predators to back off or else.

This list is incomplete. It does not include bats or small rodents for which we have no photos. The mammals included in this slide show are known to occur in Knowland Park based on the evidence of direct observation or of confirmation by wildlife experts of signs such as burrows, nests, tracks, scat, and prey carcasses. We welcome your submission of photos and observations taken in the park (please include date and place).

Photo credits are as follows: 1-3. Jim Hale; 4. Lisa Wan; 5. Marcel Holyoak; 6. Len Blumin; 7. Jason Webster; 8. Gary J. Wood; 9. Jeff Poskanzer; 10. Ecov Otto; 11. Walter Siegmund; 13. David Hofmann; 14. Jerry Kirkhart; 16. Sarah Murray.

Click on any image below to start a slide show.

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2 Responses to Mammals of Knowland Park

  1. Gabriele Allen February 28, 2012 at 6:18 am #

    Great article! Just about a month ago, when I walked the western ridge in Knowland Park, a large coyote suddenly appeared on the fire road at the most 40 feet in front of me. He stopped for a moment and looked at me before he continued on his way. I was a bit startled and pleasantly surprised at the same time. The encounter was within the footprint of the proposed zoo expansion, to be exact in one of the to be Grizzly bear exhibits. I love to go out in the evening with my children. We often see the impressive Grey horned owl. And during the day a red tail hawk often greets me from the top of a tree at the fire road off Snowdown. Deer are certainly a very common sight in the park and I have seen a grey fox three times in 2011.  I am curious to take a closer look at the chaparral stand and wood rat nests next time I’m in the park. Without this blog I would not have known about them. I always get very happy and relaxed when I am out in Knowland Park, and meeting a wild animal or enjoying some moments of silence under one of the big Live Oak trees is a gift of nature, that I deeply appreciate.

  2. Laura March 6, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

    Gabriele,  I apologize for being so slow to answer your comment.  Thank you for sharing your experiences with wildlife in Knowland Park, especially with your children.  Frequent visitors to the park are often rewarded with noticing small changes.  Yesterday I passed the dead tree in the meadow used by so many birds and saw a pair of kestrels–male and female–perched together.  It’s now mating season, and somewhere in the park of surrounding neighborhood this pair will find a cavity and rear their young there.  Keep your eyes peeled for the pair:  the male is smaller and has blue-gray wings.  And keep sending in your reports of wildlife!

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