Long Beach, a city located in Southern California, is a diverse urban environment with a range of natural habitats, from the Pacific Ocean to wetlands, parks, and open spaces. Despite its urbanization, Long Beach is home to a variety of wild animals that contribute to its ecological diversity.
One of the most iconic animals found in Long Beach is the sea lion. The city’s harbor provides an ideal habitat for these marine mammals. Visitors can spot sea lions lounging on the docks, barking and playing in the water, and even stealing fish from fishermen’s lines. The sea lions are a popular attraction, and many boat tours take visitors on excursions to see them up close.
Another marine animal found in Long Beach is the dolphin. These intelligent and playful creatures can be spotted swimming and jumping alongside boats, especially during the summer months. Dolphins are a common sight in Long Beach due to the city’s location along the Pacific Ocean.
Western Snowy Plover
This small, endangered bird is a common sight on Long Beach’s sandy beaches. The plover nests in the sand dunes and feeds on small crustaceans and insects.
Long Beach is a stopover for thousands of monarch butterflies during their annual migration from Canada to Mexico. These butterflies can be seen gathering in large clusters on trees and shrubs in the city’s parks and open spaces.
Each year, thousands of gray whales migrate past Long Beach on their way to their breeding grounds in Baja California. Visitors can often spot these massive creatures from the shore or on a whale-watching tour.
This common bird of prey can be seen soaring over Long Beach’s parks and open spaces, hunting for small rodents and other prey.
Western Fence Lizard
The small, colorful lizard can be found sunning itself on rocks and in trees throughout Long Beach’s natural areas. It is a harmless and fascinating species to observe.
The city is also home to a range of bird species. Long Beach’s wetlands provide important habitat for migratory birds, such as egrets, herons, and pelicans. The El Dorado Nature Center, a 105-acre nature preserve in the heart of the city, is a particularly popular spot for birdwatching.
Reptiles and Amphibians
Long Beach is also home to several species of reptiles and amphibians. One of the most iconic is the Pacific rattlesnake, a venomous snake that can be found in the hills and canyons around the city. Visitors to Long Beach should be cautious when hiking in these areas, as rattlesnakes can be dangerous if provoked.
Other Notable Wild Animals
Other notable animals found in Long Beach include coyotes, skunks, and raccoons. While these animals can sometimes cause problems for humans, they play an important role in the city’s ecosystem.
Where to Find Wild Animals in Long Beach?
Long Beach has a lot of wild animals calling it home. These are the best places in this beautiful Californian city to spot wildlife in their natural habitats:
There are several places in Long Beach where visitors can observe wild animals in their natural habitats. Here are some of the best spots:
1. El Dorado Nature Center
The 105-acre nature preserve is located in the heart of Long Beach and is home to a variety of wildlife, including migratory birds, reptiles, and small mammals. Visitors can hike the nature trails or explore the wetlands by canoe or kayak.
2. Los Cerritos Wetlands
This expansive wetland area is home to a variety of bird species, including egrets, herons, and pelicans. Visitors can explore the wetlands on foot or by kayak.
3. Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge
This is a wildlife refuge a short drive from Long Beach. It is home to a variety of bird species, including the endangered Western Snowy Plover. Visitors can hike the trails or take a guided tour to see the wildlife up close.
4. Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier
This popular fishing pier is a great spot to see sea lions and dolphins in their natural habitat. Visitors can watch the animals play in the water and steal fish from the fishermen’s lines.
5. Aquarium of the Pacific
While not exactly in the wild, the Aquarium of the Pacific is a great place to observe a variety of marine animals that can be found off the coast of Long Beach. Visitors can see sea otters, sharks, and a variety of fish species up close.
Despite the presence of wild animals in Long Beach, it’s important to remember that the city is a human-dominated environment. Visitors should always treat wildlife with respect and caution, keeping a safe distance and avoiding interactions that could be harmful to both humans and animals.
Overall, Long Beach’s diverse natural habitats provide important habitats for a range of wild animals. From marine mammals to birds, reptiles, and mammals, the city is a unique and fascinating place to explore the natural world.