Sensitive Wildlife Species

One of the missions of the HCP/NCCP was to increase the number of sensitive species that live and thrive on the water bank. Since 1994, that list has grown from 10 species to 34 — due in large part to the intermittent recharge in basins with varying water depths which provide diverse habitat for a wide variety of water dependent bird species.

Because the upland areas of the Water Bank are no longer farmed, the area has returned to a natural condition that provides prime habitat for threatened and endangered species like Tipton kangaroo rats and burrowing owls. We expect increases in the number of species and individuals at the Kern Water Bank in the years to come.

List of Sensitive Species:


SCAPHIOPDIDAE (spadefoot toads)
Spea (Scaphiopus) hammondi, Western spadefoot


PHRYNOSOMATIDAE (horned lizards)
Phrynosoma coronatum frontale, California horned lizard *


PELECANIDAE (pelicans)
Pelecanus erythrorhynchos, American White Pelican
Pelecanus occidentalis, Brown Pelican

Phalacrocorax auritus, Double-crested cormorant

ARDEIDAE (herons, egrets, and bitterns)
Ardea alba, Great egret
Ardea herodias, Great blue heron
Botaurus lentiginosus, American bittern
Egretta thula, Snowy egret
Nycticorax nycticorax, Black-crowned night heron

THRESKIORNITHIDAE (ibises and spoonbills)
Plegadis chihi, White-faced ibis

ANATIDAE (ducks, geese, and swans)
Aythya valisineria, Canvasback
Branta canadensis leucopareia, Aleutian Canada goose
Cygnus columbianus, Tundra swan

ACCIPITRIDAE (hawks, kites, harriers, and eagles)
Accipiter cooperi, Cooper’s hawk *
Buteo swainsoni, Swainson’s hawk *
Circus cyaneus, Northern harrier *
Elanus leucurus, White-tailed kite
Pandion haliaetus, Osprey

FALCONIDAE (falcons)
Falco columbarius, Merlin
Falco mexicanus, Prairie falcon

LARIDAE (gulls and terns)
Chlidonias niger, Black tern
Sterna caspia, Caspian tern
Sterna forsteri, Forster's tern

Athene cunicularia hypugea, Burrowing owl *

LANIIDAE (shrikes)
Lanius ludovicianus, Loggerhead shrike

Eremophila alpestris actia, California horned-lark

MIMIDAE (mockingbirds and thrashers)
Toxostoma redivivum, California thrasher

ICTERIDAE (blackbirds)
Agelaius tricolor, Tricolored blackbird
Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus, Yellow-headed blackbird


HETEROMYIDAE (kangaroo rats, pocket mice, and kangaroo mice)
Dipodomys nitratoides nitratoides, Tipton kangaroo rat *
Perognathus inornatus inornatus, San Joaquin pocket mouse *

CANIDAE (foxes, wolves, and coyotes)
Vulpes macrotis mutica, San Joaquin kit fox *

MUSTELIDAE (weasles, badgers, and relatives)
Taxidea taxus, American badger *

* Present on the Kern Water Bank property prior to water banking.