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Lava Beds National Monument Soils

Relatively well-developed soils in the northern section of the monument support the bunchgrass-sagebrush plant community, which is dominated by fire-tolerant grasses and shrubby sagebrush. The most common small mammals of this plant community include Belding's ground squirrels, kangaroo rats, yellow-bellied marmots, black-tailed jackrabbits and cottontail rabbits. Large migratory mammals within this zone include mule deer and pronghorn antelope. Characteristic bird species are California quail, meadowlarks, and red-tailed hawks. More poorly-developed soils containing a great deal of volcanic pumice underlie the juniper-brushland community located throughout the mid-elevations. Other than juniper, associated plants include bitterbrush and desert mountain mahogany which provide the food that attract large numbers of wintering mule deer. Animal species endemic to this community include coyote, bobcat, California ground squirrel, woodrat, scrub and pinyon jays, and western robin.

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