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California Central Valley grasslands (WWF ecoregion NA0801)   WWF Wildfinder home

Kaweah Oaks Preserve, Tulare Co., CA
Kaweah Oaks Preserve, Tulare Co., California

California Central Valley grasslands map
Source of bioregions data: Olson, D. M. and E. Dinerstein. The Global 200: Priority ecoregions for global conservation. (PDF file) Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 89:125-126.

Distinctiveness (1=highest,4=lowest): 2 (regionally outstanding)
In its original state, it was one of the most diverse and distinctive grasslands in temperate North America.  It contained prairies, savannas, riparian woodlands, marshes, and vernal pools.  A number of endemic species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians are present in the region.*

Conservation Status (1=most endangered, 5=most intact): 1 (critical)
Nearly all of the habitats in this ecoregion have been altered.  Native grasses have been replaced by introduced species.  66% of vernal pools have been destroyed and less than 6% of marshes remain.  Only about 1% of riparian woodlands are intact.*

Characteristic species*

Stipa pulchra
Stipa cerua
Elymus spp.
Poa scabrella
Aristida spp.
Koeleria cristata
Muhlenbergia rigins
Melica imperfecta

Associated habitats

Riparian habitat, Feather River, near Nicolaus, Sutter Co., California

Riparian habitat, Feather River, near Nicolaus, Sutter Co., California
(c) 2005 Daniel P. Duran  hires

Oak Savanna, Kaweah Oaks Preserve, Tulare Co., California

Oak Savanna, Kaweah Oaks Preserve, Tulare Co., California Oak Savanna, Kaweah Oaks Preserve, Tulare Co., California Oak Savanna, Kaweah Oaks Preserve, Tulare Co., California
This preserve is one of the last valley oak riparian forests in the San Joaquin Valley.   hires hires hires

Agriculture, near Fresno, Fresno Co., California

Agriculture, near Fresno, Fresno Co., California Agriculture, near Fresno, Fresno Co., California
Intensive agricultural development has destroyed 94% of the freshwater wetlands.   hires hires

* Ricketts, T.H., E. Dinerstein, D.M. Olson, C.J. Loucks, et al.  (1999) Terrestrial Ecoregions of North America: A Conservation Assessment.  World Wildlife Fund - United States and Canada.  Island Press, Washington, D.C. pp. 277-280.

 Except as noted, images copyright 2002-2011 Steve Baskauf - Terms of use