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Natural History of the Angelo Reserve

The Angelo Coast Range Reserve encompasses diverse aquatic and terrestrial habitats. With elevations ranging from 378-1290 m, the steep, dissected terrain harbors redwood groves, mixed conifer-deciduous forest, upland Douglas fir and mixed conifer-decidious forests, nine meadows on upland river terraces, and chaparral at higher elevations, particularly along ridgelines.

Because the Angelo Reserve lies east of Elkhorn Ridge, a high region of the coast range, it is shielded from maritime fog. Consequently, it has more temperature extremes, drier summers, and more elevationally stratified vegetation than might be expected in a habitat only 12-15 miles east of the Pacific Ocean. Aquatic habitats include a salmon-bearing mainstream river and tributary streams, and seasonal seeps and meadow wetlands. Notable fauna include the Pacific giant salamander, the Olympic salamanders, river otters, flying squirrels, black bears, the threatened northern spotted owl, lamprey eels (for which the river was named), coho and chinook salmon, and steelhead trout. The reserve protects one of the largest tracts of coastal Douglas fir-Coast Redwood forest remaining in the state of California, and a 5 km stretch of the South Fork of the Eel River designated as a Wild and Scenic River. Protected spawning and rearing habitat for salmonids and other fishes occurs in the mainstem South Fork and in three of its perennial tributaries within the Reserve. Species lists are available for Mosses, Liverworts, Vascular plants, Reptiles, Amphibia, Fish, Birds, Mammals, Fungi and Lichens at the reserve.

Text by Margaret Herring, edited by Susan Gee Runsey and hyperlinks added by John Latto.
Used with permission of the UC Natural Reserve System.