Wildlife and Habitat

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Black brant ingest sand to help with digestion while shorebirds poke and prod at the sandy beach in search of invertebrates.

  • Wildlife

    Otter Thompson 150

    The diverse and resource rich habitats found at Humboldt bay are utilized, at least throughout some of the year, by an extraordinary number of wildlife species. More than 260 species of birds, 95 species of fish, 50 species of mammals, 20 species of reptiles and amphibians, and countless invertebrates take advantage of the habitats provided by the Refuge and surrounding lands.

    Watchable Wildlife List

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  • Habitat

    HabitatMarsh 150

    When Humboldt Bay was diked in the early 20th century, the area of estuary was reduced by almost 40 percent. Although there is no longer an uninterrupted gradient from rivers and creeks to the ocean water at the bay’s mouth, a complex mosaic of fresh, brackish, and saltwater wetlands occurs in response to tidal influence, freshwater inputs, and the residual salinity of old saltmarsh soils. As a result, there is a rich diversity of habitat types surrounding the bay.


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  • Endangered Species

    SnowyPlover LeValley 150

    The Endangered Species Program in the Arcata Fish and Wildlife Office has the responsibilities for activities specified under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as Amended, for Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino, Siskiyou, and Trinity Counties, CA. The office collects and maintains information on listed species that live in these counties, including legal status, survey and distributional data, life history requirements, recovery needs, population status, threats, and conservation needs.


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  • Plants

    Plantsphoto Pickart 150

    Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge is home to about 220 species of native plants. The high plant diversity is a result of the range of different habitats found on the refuge in its estuarine, dune and wetland ecosystems. In addition to these ‘vascular’ plant species, there are hundreds of species of lichen, mosses, algae and fungi.

    Vascular Plant List

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