Threatened Species

Species extinctions have occurred naturally throughout history, but scientific evidence suggests that human activity has accelerated the extinction rate. Habitat loss and degradation (e.g. from deforestation, development, or pollution) threaten the survival of species and their habitats.

The Endangered Species Act of 1973 provides vulnerable species with special protections that limit human use of the organism. In order to be listed as “endangered” or “threatened,” a species has often lost a large percentage of its habitat, is being over-consumed (e.g. over-fished or over-hunted), or is threatened by other anthropogenic factors. An endangered species are considered to be at risk of extinction, while a threatened species is at risk of endangerment. A sensitive species requires special management in order to prevent it from becoming listed. 

Below are the federally and state listed species that occur in or near Los Angeles County.

Endangered Species Guide

Read about LA’s endangered species in this downloadable Companion Guide, based on the Biodiversity Atlas and assembled by UCLA undergraduate researcher Esther Lee.


Common NameScientific NameStatus
Bald eagleHaliaeetus leucocephalusFederally Protected, State Endangered
California condor Gymnogyps californianusFederally & State Endangered
California least tern Sterna antillarum browniFederally & State Endangered
California spotted owlStrix occidentalis occidentalisUnder Review
Coastal California gnatcatcher Polioptila californica californicaFederally Threatened
Least Bell’s vireo Vireo bellii pusillusFederally & State Endangered
San Clemente loggerhead shrike Lanius ludovicianus mearnsiFederally Endangered
Western snowy plover Charadrius nivosus nivosusFederally Threatened


Common NameScientific NameStatus
California sheepheadBodianus pulcherVulnerable (IUCN Red List)
Santa Ana suckerCatostomus santaanaeFederally Threatened
SteelheadOncorhynchus mykissFederally Endangered
Tidewater gobyEucyclogobius newberryiFederally Endangered
Unarmored threespine sticklebackGasterosteus aculeatus williamsoniFederally & State Endangered


Black abaloneHaliotis cracherodiiFederally Endangered
El Segundo blue butterflyEuphilotes battoides allyniFederally Endangered
Green abaloneHaliotis fulgensSpecies of Concern
Palos Verdes blue butterflyGlaucopsyche lygdamus palosverdesensisFederally Endangered
Pink abaloneHaliotis corrugataSpecies of Concern
Vernal pool fairy shrimpBranchinecta lynchiFederally Threatened
White abaloneHaliotis sorenseniFederally Endangered


Common NameScientific NameStatus
Desert bighorn sheepOvis canadensis nelsoniFederally Endangered
Mojave ground squirrelXerospermophilus mohavensisState Threatened
Santa Catalina Island foxUrocyon littoralis catalinaeFederally Threatened
Blue whaleBalaenoptera musculusFederally Endangered
Fin whaleBalaenoptera physalusFederally Endangered
Humpback whaleMegaptera novaeangliaeFederally Endangered (Central America DPS) & Threatened (Mexico DPS)
North Pacific right whaleEubalaena japonicaFederally Endangered
Sei whaleBalaenoptera borealisFederally Endangered
Sperm whalePhyseter macrocephalusFederally Endangered


Common NameScientific NameStatus
Agoura Hills dudleyaDudleya cymosa ssp. agourensisFederally Threatened
Braunton’s milk-vetchAstragalus brauntoniiFederally Endangered
California Orcutt grassOrcuttia californicaFederally & State Endangered
Catalina Island mountain-mahoganyCercocarpus traskiaeFederally & State Endangered
Engelmann oakQuercus engelmanniiVulnerable (State)
Island rush-roseCrocanthemum greeneiFederally Threatened
Lyon’s pygmydaisyPentachaeta lyoniiFederally & State Endangered
Marcescent dudleyaDudleya cymosa ssp. marcescensFederally Threatened
Nevin’s barberryBerberis neviniiFederally & State Endangered
San Clemente Island bush mallowMalacothamnus clementinusFederally & State Endangered
San Clemente Island Indian paintbrushCastilleja griseaFederally Threatened & State Endangered
San Clemente Island larkspurDelphinium variegatum ssp. kinkienseFederally & State Endangered
San Clemente Island lotusAcmispon dendroideus var. traskiaeFederally Threatened & State Endangered
San Clemente Island woodland starLithophragma maximumFederally & State Endangered
San Fernando Valley spineflowerChorizanthe parryi var. fernandinaState Endangered (soon to be Federal)
Santa Cruz Island rock cressSibara filifoliaFederally Endangered
Santa Monica dudleyaDudleya cymosa ssp. ovatifoliaFederally Threatened
Slender-horned spineflowerDodecahema leptocerasFederally & State Endangered
Spreading navarretiaNavarretia fossalisFederally Threatened
Thread-leaved brodiaeaBrodiaea filifoliaFederally Threatened & State Endangered

Reptiles and Amphibians

Common NameScientific NameStatus
Arroyo toadAnaxyrus californicusFederally Endangered
California red-legged frogRana draytoniiFederally Threatened
Desert tortoise Gopherus agassiziiFederally Threatened
Green sea turtle Chelonia mydasFederally Threatened
Pacific leatherback sea turtleDermochelys coriaceaFederally Endangered
Southern mountain yellow-legged frogRana muscosaFederally Endangered