The area in and around Lake Tahoe is a natural wonderland filled with many different animals and plants. Because all wildlife and plant life are sensitive to any type of disturbance, locals and visitors alike are reminded to adhere to instructions posted on signs and to travel only on designated trails. If the pristine nature of Lake Tahoe is to be sustained for future generations, it is up to all of us to protect its natural beauty.
Many mammals call the Lake Tahoe area home. Included among these are the yellow-bellied marmot, the Douglas squirrel or chickadee, golden-mantled ground squirrel, American martin, mule deer, black bear, coyote, raccoon, beaver, and porcupine.
Wildlife viewing is a favorite pastime in the region. However, it is important that you do not approach any animal, but instead, stay at a save distance. Even the smallest of animals can inflict a nasty bite. The Yellow-bellied Marmot dwells at high altitudes and is most often spotted during the summer months sunning itself on rocks. The chattering Douglas squirrel is often seen scampering up and down trees searching for choice pinecones. The golden-mantled ground squirrels usually gather in campgrounds and lunch spots. They are perhaps the least leery of people. Mule deer and sometimes coyotes can been seen from the roadways.
Due to the moist environment surrounding the lake, the plant life includes many different types of moss, in addition to the lush pine forests. Many of the plants here thrive in the region because they require the specific environment found here.
Always tread lightly when enjoying both the wildlife and the plants of Tahoe and remember to practice Leave No Trace principles.