Wildlife in Lower Carpenter Valley!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 - 5:00pm

Enjoy these photos from the Lower Carpenter Valley wildlife study!

By understanding animal patterns in the valley today, Land Trust stewardship staff can reduce impacts on our animal neighbors as we develop plans for public access in 2019 or 2020. Consequently, the study was commissioned in 2017 to establish a baseline “inventory” of wildlife in the valley. Many thanks to our colleagues at The Nature Conservancy and the Northern Sierra Partnership for their instrumental assistance.  

There has been so much attention to the spectacular array of California native wildflowers and the sponge-like water filtration happening on the valley floor. But that area is open, unprotected territory and the cameras show that the wooded slopes are very important for animals. “I’ve never seen so many fawns in a single area,” Dr. Eveline Larrucea, the wildlife biologist who placed and monitors the cameras, notes and explains that as the fawns grow and mature, deer begin to roam more widely throughout the property.

Dr. Larrucea was especially tickled to capture an albino squirrel – lucky to live to adulthood because it has absolutely no camouflage, a flying squirrel, and lots of bear, including one with an ear tag that she is working to trace.

While actionable recommendations are still in progress, Dr. Larrucea notes that dogs, even on leash, leave their scent and droppings, which are upsetting to potential prey like deer and serve as attraction for coyotes who want to check out the competition of another canid.  That's why dogs and other pets are not allowed in Carpenter Valley.

We hope you enjoy these photos of Lower Carpenter Valley's abundant and entertaining wildlife!


Congratulations to this full grown, but not camouflaged, squirrel for successfully growing to maturity.

A rare glimpse of a flying squirrel!

A young Bambi. Did you know that fawns' white camouflage spots protect them from predators when mom is away?

Beautiful coat on this crafty coyote, also traveling the fire road.

The action doesn’t stop at night when this mountain lion was observed foraging near a camera.

Over 1000 visitors enjoyed a Land Trust docent-led hike to Carpenter Valley during the summer and autumn of 2017. The wildlife cameras spotted quite a bit of human activity in the Valley between scientific staff and visitors. The Land Trust in partnership with The Nature Conservancy is committed to implementing a trail plan that doesn’t negatively impact animal patterns.