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McLaughlin Natural Reserve


The McLaughlin Reserve is one of few sites in California that protects unusual serpentine habitats. Chemically hostile to most plants, serpentine deposits cover one third of the reserve, creating islands of rare and endemic plants that have adapted to these harsh soils along with numerous associated endemic insects. Where there are non-serpentine soils, the vegetation shifts suddenly to more typical coast range habitats, including riparian woodland, blue oak woodland and savannah, grassland, and chaparral. Click on the images below for details about the different aspects of McLaughlin's natural history. These sections provide general information on McLaughlin's natural history. More technical information, in the form of species lists and reports, is also available.

Old Manhattan Mine retort with newer One Shot Mercury Mine retort, 1981.

Land Use - The history of humans in the Morgan Valley and Knoxville areas.

Serpentine rock

Geology - The processes that influenced (and still influence) the formation of the McLaughlin Reserve.

some flower.

Vegetation - Vegetation at McLaughlin, the places they occur, and the plants that comprise them.


some butterfly.

Insects - Insects living at the McLaughlin Reserve.


Western Fence Lizard.

Reptiles and Amphibians - Reptiles and amphibians of McLaughlin 



Birds - The flying creatures of the McLaughlin Reserve


Mammals - The mammals seen and encountered at McLaughlin

Davis Creek Reservoir

Aquatic Ecology – The Reserve’s aquatic ecosystem.