California has more species than any other state in the United States and also has the greatest number of endemic species—species that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
According to the California Department of Fish & Game’s California Wildlife Action Plan Report: “California is the wildlife state. Its diverse topography and climate have given rise to a remarkable diversity of habitats and a correspondingly diverse array of both plant and animal species."
"Wildlife provides significant economic benefits to the state through recreation, tourism, and commercial harvest. Many of the places where wildlife thrives are often the same as those valued for recreation and other human activities. By learning what threatens the state’s wildlife and the steps that can be taken to reduce those threats, California’s residents have the opportunity to become more active stewards of this precious resource, ensuring that the Golden State remains the wildlife state for generations to come (http://www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/WAP/docs/report/executivesummary.pdf).”
The California Department of Fish and Game maintains native fish, wildlife, plant species and natural communities for their intrinsic and ecological value and their benefits to people. This includes habitat protection and maintenance in a sufficient amount and quality to ensure the survival of all species and natural communities. The department is also responsible for the diversified use of fish and wildlife including recreational, commercial, scientific and educational uses.
Example of action to protect wildlife and habitat: In 2008, Gov. Schwarzenegger signed AB 2785 (Ruskin) which requires the Department of Fish & Game to compile a database of the state’s most critical wildlife corridors and habitat linkages. The bill will allow Californians to have access to information on where wildlife lives and migrates, allowing the state to protect wildlife as well as develop land in an environmentally sensitive way.