Critters in the Scrub

Taken from the Cabrillo National Monument website, here’s a quick overview of some of the critters you may find lurking in our Coastal Sage Scrub plant community:

Cabrillo National Monument and the Point Loma Peninsula are home to several species of mammals. Gray foxes are commonly seen in the park, especially near closing time – they seem to know when it’s time for visitors to go home and they can regain the park for their nocturnal wanderings. Raccoons make their way around Cabrillo at night as well, and are efficient predators: they prey both on terrestrial and intertidal organisms. Coyotes are rarely seen here, preferring the northern end of Point Loma.

Cottontails and squirrels are frequently seen throughout the year, and their populations spike after particularly rainy winters: the abundance of grasses makes for easy foraging.

A few bat species are found in the Point Loma area, including the Mexican long-tongued bat. Many bats rely on sonar to navigate and hunt in the dark; the small populations of bats on Point Loma may be due to signals from Navy research facilities that interfere with the bats’ ability to use sonar in areas where those signals are transmitted.

Seldom seen, the voracious desert shrew has adapted to the dry slopes of Point Loma. Pocket mice are common, and are most abundant during the summer months. The California mouse is the largest white-footed mouse in the country and is so big that it is often mistaken for a small woodrat.

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