The Mobius Arch in the Alabama Hills -- This rock arch perfectly frames Mount Whitney in the center opening.
Eastern Sierra Mountains Rock Climbing Strutting Sagegrouse Alabama Hills Cactus in Bloom
BLM>California>Bishop>Wildlife Concerns
Print Page
Bishop Field Office

Keep an eye out for birds, rodents, and other animals that use the Tableland Boulders


Desert Horned LizardStress, which results when animals are spooked or are approached too closely, may compromise their ability to survive drought or hard winters.  Try to keep all animals from getting human food which means picking up all trash and left foods.  It'sRaptor nesting areas usually unhealthy for them and certainly teaches them to become pests in search of handouts.

The presence of raptors, such as prairie falcons, eagles, and many hawks and owls, are indicators of the health of any ecosystem.  Avoid nesting sites on or near the crags in the spring and early summer.  Watch the birds as they circle and land near their nests to identify places to avoid.  If you encounter nests on a climb, don't touch them.  Human contact may cause the adults to abandon the nest and its eggs or young.  Adhere to seasonal closures; you can always find another climb.

Pay attention for other signs of animal activity and also avoid these areas as well. 

Pack rat middenThe photo to the right was taken amongst the rocks on the Tableland.  Pack rats have used this hole in the rock for many generations, and as a result, produced a pile of midden.  Midden piles have been dated as old as 40 million years.  Midden is essentially the nest used by the pack rat and is an accumulation of biotic material, feces, and urine.  Besides the fact that this is an Photo of Raptor nestanimals home, midden can provide paleoenvironmental history of a specific area.  Plant macrofossils extracted from midden can provide information concerning vegetative and climatic histories on a habitat specific level.   Therefore, we ask that you do not climb or touch these nests and suggest contacting a resource specialist to identify these unique areas.



Rappeling down to view raptor nest



Ongoing research and studies are being conducted on the Tablelands to identify the sensitive wildlife areas in order to sustain a healthy ecosystem in this very fragile desert environment.  Please cooperate with the rules and regulations applied to specific areas.



Observed species at the Happy and Sad Boulders:

  • Lizards
  • Snakes
    • Mountain Kingsnake  (Lampropeltis getula)
    • Coachwhip  (Masticophis flagellum)
    • Gopher Snake  (Pituophis catenifer)
    • Sidewinder  (Crotalus cerastes)
    • Speckled Rattlesnake  (Crotalus mitchelli)
  • Birds
      • Song Birds
    • Black-throated Sparrow  (Amphispiza bilineata)
    • Brewer´s Sparrow  (Spizella breweri)
    • Sage Sprrow  (Amphispiza belli)
    • Canyon Wren  (Catherpes mexicanus)
    • Rock Wren  (Salpinctus obsoletus)
    • Mourning Dove  (Zenaida macroura)
    • Horned Lark  (Eremophila alpestris)
    • Loggerhead Shrike  (Lanius ludovicianus)
    • Common Raven  (Corvus corax)
      • Raptors
    • Turkey Vulture  (Cathartes aura)
    • Cooper´s Hawk  (Accipiter cooperi)
    • Red-tailed Hawk  (Buteo jamaicensis)
    • Golden Eagle  (Aquila chrysaetos)
    • American Kestrel  (Falco sparverius)
    • Prairie Falcon  (Falco mexicanus)
    • Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus)
    • Barn Owl  (Tyto alba)
    • Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus)
  • Mammals
    • California Ground Squirrel  (Citellus beecheyi)
    • Antelope Ground Squirrel (Ammospermophilus harrisi)
    • Long Tail Pocket Mouse  (Perognathus formosus)
    • Little Pocket Mouse  (Perognathus longimembris)
    • Great Basin Pocket Mouse  (Perognathus parvus)
    • Meerriam Kanagroo Rat  (Dipodomys merriami)
    • Great Basin Kangaroo Rat  (Dipodomys microps)
    • Desert Woodrat  (Neotoma lepida)
    • Canyon Mouse  (Peromyscus crinitus)
    • Coyote  (Canis latrans)
    • Gray Fox  (Urocyon cinereoargenteus)
    • Bobcat (Lynx rufus)
    • Badger (Taxidea taxus)
    • Long-tail Weasel  (Mustela frenata)
    • Western Big-ear Bat  (Plecotus towsendii)
    • Spotted Bat  (Euderma maculata)
    • California Myotis (Myotis californicus)
    • Western Pipistrel  (Pipistrellus hesperus)
    • Striped Skunk  (Mephitis mephitis)
    • Black-tailed Hare  (Lepus californicus)
    • Zebra-tailed Lizard  (Callisaurus draconoides)
    • Great Basin Collard Lizard  (Crotaphytus bicinctores)
    • Long-nosed Leopard Lizard  (Gambelia wislizenii)
    • Desert Horned Lizard  (Phrynosoma platyrhinos)
    • Sagebrush Lizard  (Sceloporus graciosus)
    • Desert Spiny Lizard  (Sceloporus magister)
    • Western Fence Lizard  (Sceloporus occidentalis)
    • Side-blotched Lizard  (Uta stansburiana)
    • Western Whiptail  (Cnemidophorus tigris)

** This is not a complete species list.  Please contact the Bishop Field Office if you identify other species to make our list more complete.