California Fish and Game Code Sections 3511, 4700, 5050 and 5515 designate 37 species of wildlife as Fully Protected in California. The classification of Fully Protected provides additional protection to those animals that are rare or face possible extinction. Most Fully Protected Species have also been listed as threatened or endangered species under CESA. Fully Protected species may not be taken or possessed at any time and no licenses or permits may be issued for their take except for collecting these species for necessary scientific research and relocation of the bird species for the protection of livestock.

The species lists below include all of the Fully Protect species in California. Species with multiple designations are listed more than once, and will appear in each category that is suitable. However, species with multiple designations will have a “-” after the latin name and a series of letters that describes all of the designations. The “key” is as follows:

FE = Federal Endangered          FT = Federal Threatened

SE = State Endangered              ST = State Threatened

FP = Fully Protected                   SSC = California Species of Special Concern


There are 10 Fully Protected fishes in California.

  • Colorado pikeminnow (Ptychocheilus lucius) – FE, SE, FP
  • Thicktail chub (Gila crassicauda)
  • Mohave tui chub (Siphateles bicolor mohavensis) – FE, SE, FP
  • Lost River sucker (Deltistes luxatus) – FE, SE, FP
  • Modoc sucker (Catostomus microps) – SE, FP
  • Shortnose sucker (Chasmistes brevirostris) – FE, SE, FP
  • Razorback sucker (Xyrauchen texanus) – FE, SE, FP
  • Owens pupfish (Cyprinodon radiosus) – FE, SE, FP
  • Unarmored threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus williamsoni) – FE, SE, FP
  • Rough sculpin (Cottus asperrimus) – ST, FP




There are 12 Fully Protected birds in California.


There are a total of 9 Fully Protected mammals in California.

  • Morro Bay kangaroo rat (Dipodomys heermanni morroensis) – FE, SE, FP
  • Bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) – except Nelson bighorn sheep
  • Northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris)
  • Guadalupe fur seal Arctocephalus townsendi) – FT, ST, FP
  • Ring-tailed cat (Bassariscus astutus)
  • Pacific right whale (Eubalanea sieboldi)
  • Salt-marsh harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys raviventris) – FE, SE, FP
  • Southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis) – FT, FP
  • North American wolverine (Gulo gulo luscus) – ST, FP