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San Onofre Wildlife

San Mateo Creek and San Onofre State Beach is home to eleven endangered species.  We have provided a few links to other websites that have some good descriptions and excellent photos since we don't have any photos of our own. 

Pacific Pocket Mouse

Southern Steelhead Trout

Least Bell’s Vireo

California Gnatcatcher

Southwestern Willow Flycatcher

California Redlegged Frog

Arroyo Southwestern Toad

Tidewater Goby

San Diego Fairy Shrimp

Riverside Fairy Shrimp

Snowy Plover

San Onofre State Beach is also habitat of a rare California Native Plant, the Thread-leaved Brodiaea, the calphotos website has some really nice pics:

The toll road (if it had been constructed) would have harmed or wiped out this already threatened plant and wildlife in the San O area.  Fortunately the 241 toll road extension was not approved by the Coastal Commission or the Secretary of Commerce.

Rattlesnake -- click photo to enlarge
Photo by Phil Culshaw

The rattlesnake in the photo above was found by a group of campers in San Mateo Campground the weekend of June 28th/29th, 2008.  This snake was by the bathrooms near camp spot #107.  I believe this is a "western" rattlesnake.  Special thanks for the use of this photo!

In addition to endangered species a number of other wildlife can be found here.  Use caution, rattlesnakes are thoughout San Onofre.  Ran across one in San Mateo Creek Preserve on the paved path between Old Highway 101 and Trestles Beach just recently.  Locals say rattlesnakes often will lay on the paved path in the late afternoons, they like the heat from the pavement. 

Deer can be found in San Mateo Creek preserve.  Earlier this year I saw a Bald Eagle near San Mateo Campground.  Hawks, rabbits, squirrels, a number of birds, snakes, lizards and even mountain lions are known to be in this area.  Literally just about anything with the exception of bears are in the San Onofre State Beach and San Mateo Creek area.  Many photo opportunities here! 

Related News Articles:

Union Tribune, Sign On San Diego.com article
"Perilous Times for San Mateo Creek"

LA Weekly Article
"Last Stand at San Onofre"

Read about the 11 endangered species here, on Save San Onofre website:

Return to the San Onofre State Beach page, click here.
Find more scenic areas to visit, see the main listing of all areas, click here.