University of California, Riverside

UCR Botanic Gardens

Wildlife at the Botanic Gardens


Male Costa's Hummingbird,by Brian G. Prescott

Photo: Male Costa's Hummingbird, by Brian G. Prescott

Scientists and students from the University and the community not only study the plants, but also the wildlife within the Gardens' boundaries. Nearly 200 different kinds of birds have been observed. Some of the more conspicuous species are the Anna's and Costa's hummingbirds, California towhee, mockingbird, raven, red-tailed hawk, roadrunner and scrub jay. View current birds observed at the Botanic Gardens at the UCR Avifauna web page.  Links to photographs and other resources are also available, including the Birds of the UCR Botanic Gardens, Third Edition (revised by Jean Weiss in 2000).  This publication is also available at the Gardens entrance Gatehouse.

Bobcats and Lizards and Insects, Oh My!

Besides the nearly 200 types of birds officially observed, the Botanic Gardens is host to a number of mammals, reptiles and amphibians. Mammals found within the Gardens boundaries are the Audubon cottontail, Beechey or California ground squirrel, Botta pocket gopher, coyote, gray fox, kangaroo rat, opossum, pack rat and other rodents, and striped and spotted skunks. Occasionally, bobcats have been sighted. Most of these animals are nocturnal so daytime visitors rarely glimpse them - they are most likely to be seen early or late in the day during a visit to the Gardens.

A number of reptiles may be observed at the Gardens. The Western fence lizard, alligator lizard and granite spiny lizard often sun themselves on ledges beside the paths. The California legless lizard, side-blotched lizard, western skink, orange-throated whiptail and western whiptail might also be seen. Other reptiles to be found in the Gardens include a number of snakes: the California king snake, gopher snake, night snake, red diamond rattlesnake, red racer, ringneck snake, rosy boa and western blind snake. Rattlesnake sitings should be reported to a staff member. Some of the amphibians you might see include the slender salamander, Pacific tree frog, bullfrog and the western toad.

Insects and spiders abound at the Gardens! See the display of common insects at the entrance Gatehouse.

All these animals are important to the Garden's ecosystem. Please respect them and their home.

More Information

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

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Botanic Gardens Information

Botanic Gardens Schneider House Office
Botanic Gardens

Tel: (951) 784-6962

Mailing Address:
Botanic Gardens
University of California
Riverside, CA 92521-0124