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ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT PROFILE

PROTECTION STATUS: Threatened

YEAR LISTED: 1987

CRITICAL HABITAT: Approximately 5,600 acres in the Argus Mountains designated in 1987

RECOVERY PLAN: 1998

RANGE: The Argus Mountains of central California, Surprise Canyon in the nearby Panamint Range

THREATS: Destruction of riparian habitat by livestock, mining, off-road vehicles, and water diversions; the invasion of nonnative species

POPULATION TREND: Surveys showed that the Inyo California towhee had a tiny but relatively stable population between 1978 and 1987 (at 100 to 200 birds) and between 1992 and 1995 (at about 200 birds). A comprehensive 1998 survey located 640 adult birds, and a 2004 survey of Bureau of Land Management and state lands documented 204 adults and estimated a range-wide population of 725 adults. Surveys were conducted in 2007 and 2008 as part of the five-year review for this species.

California towhee photo courtesy of NPS