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 - its approximately 68 amphibians, 85 reptiles, 429 birds, and 185 mammals are the focus of the Nongame Wildlife Program. California is also home to the greatest number of endemic species, those that occur nowhere else in the world. Our program works to recover listed species and prevent the need to list additional ones. Our focus is Threatened and Endangered Species and Species of Special Concern, and includes resource assessment, research, conservation planning, recovery planning, science permitting, and outreach activities. We also seek to build strong partnerships and to provide valued leadership for others to help secure the future for nongame wildlife in California.

What We Do

Threatened and Endangered Species

We coordinate and participate in 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 (CESA). We also participate in the preparation of listing and de-listing proposals and recovery plans for these species groups. We sponsor or conduct research and management on these species when funding is available.

Species of Special Concern

We use the best available science and expertise to produce and update Species of Special Concern publications for mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. These publications identify animals that require conservation to prevent the need to list them under the California Endangered Species Act. We sponsor or conduct research and management on these species when funding is available.

Scientific Permits

We evaluate and process all permit applications for take of nongame 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: State Wildlife Grants, Endangered Species Conservation and Recovery Grants, and Endangered Species Conservation and Recovery Land Acquisition Grants.

Program Library

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

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