Nature & Science


California Frogs and Toads

Frogs and toads are both predators and prey in the aquatic food web. They are important for the survival of other species as food, and they help keep the insects they eat in a balance. These amphibians are relatively long-lived and utilize both terrestrial and aquatic habitats at different stages in their life histories.

Western Rattler

Rattlesnakes are not as dangerous or as frightening as most people think. They are actually shy and secretive animals that choose to avoid confrontation with people and are seldom seen. That does NOT mean however, that you should not be cautious when hiking, backpacking, hunting or playing in the woods. If you do see one leave it alone because if cornered, it will defend itself.


We want your visit to the Mendocino National Forest to be a pleasant experience. You can help by understanding that you are visiting the home of many wildlife creatures. Some of these are bears. As in many areas where wildlife and humans come into contact with one another, there have been some problems with bears in a few campgrounds, especially in the Hammerhorn Lake area on the Covelo Ranger District and the Lake Pillsbury area on the Upper Lake Ranger District.


Coyotes are very adaptable and inhabit most areas of the state with the exception of the centers of major metropolitan areas. They are medium sized animals belonging to the dog family. Most adults weigh between 22 to 25 pounds on the average, with males being the larger sex. With large erect ears, slender muzzle, and bushy tail they resemble a small collie dog.

California Mountain Lions

About half of California is prime mountain lion country. This fact is a surprise to many residents and visitors. These large, powerful predators have always lived here, preying on deer and other wildlife, and playing an important role in the ecosystem.*