Category: California

  • California — Landscape

    California Map

    The political boundaries of the state of California cover an area of 424,000 square kilometers but the area includes more than the core area of Mediterranean-type climate. These political boundaries include winter rainfall portions of the Sonoran and Mojave Deserts, as well as areas of cold desert habitats east of the Sierra Nevada. The California […]

  • California — Plants

    The political boundaries of California contain 4,839 native vascular plant species. An estimated 3,488 of these occur within the California Floristic Province. The state flora as a whole includes 99 ferns and fern relatives, 60 gymnosperms (53 conifers), 823 monocots, and 3862 dicots. The largest family in this flora is the Asteraceae with 627 native […]

  • California — Animals

    The California tiger

    The terrestrial mammal fauna of California includes about 160 species, with rodents making up more than half of this total. Roughly 30 mammal species are restricted to the desert regions of the state and thus are not considered part of the Mediterranean-climate region fauna. That leaves a total of about 130 terrestrial mammals native to […]

  • California — Human History

    The urban skyline of San Francisco.

    Native Americans entered California 13-15,000 years ago. Although population densities were never high, these peoples nevertheless had significant impacts on their environment. Most notably, they used fire to maintain meadows, clear underbrush, encourage the growth of certain plants, and ensure easy access to a major food source, the acorns of oak trees.  Rapid population growth […]