U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Sacramento Fish & Wildlife OfficeServing the people, conserving the fish, wildlife, and plants of California

A Unit Of The Pacific Southwest Region

Where Can Kids See Rare Species?

Places to see rare plants and animals in Northern California

There are some wonderful zoos, aquariums and other enclosed places to see rare species in California. But we want to get you out in nature, Read More.

National Wildlife Refuges


  • Always check the website for the place you want to go. Many of these places are only open at certain times. The species you want to see may only be there or in bloom at a certain time of the year. They might only come out at certain times of day (or night).
  • Just look and take pictures unless a docent, ranger or other official person says it's ok to touch a rare species. Use binoculars to see animals from a distance and not stress them.
  • Don't feed wild animals unless an official person says it's ok.
  • You will usually see and hear more animals if you are very quiet.

General Wildlife & Wildflower Sites

These lists focus on places within our service area. To suggest places to see rare species, email us at fw1sacweb@fws.gov.



Wildflowers and Other Plants

Whale, Seal, Sea Lion and other Marine Species

Field Guides

  • California Wildlife Viewing Guide (Wildlife Viewing Guide Series), Jeanne L. Clark, Falcon Press, 1996 (Excellent guide but some information may be out of date.)
  • National Audubon Society First Field Guide series (Birds, Trees, Amphibians, Wildflowers, Mammals, Insects, Reptiles, Fishes, etc.)
  • Peterson First Guide series (Birds, Insects, Trees, Butterflies, Caterpillars, Fishes, Reptiles & Amphibians, Wildflowers, Mammals, etc.)

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Last updated: December 1, 2017