Lighthouse Park no longer supports the diversity or abundance of species that it did in the past. The Pacific chorus frog, nighthawk, cougar, black-tailed deer, Townsend's chipmunk, saw-whet and screech owls once common, are no longer seen. Sooty grouse were last heard in the park in the spring of 1993. Black bears, northern alligator lizards and salamanders are scarce. 57 plant species observed in 1973 are now considered extirpated from the Park.
The park has become isolated from the larger North Shore forest unit. Necessary daily and seasonal movements of wildlife and gene flow between populations in the park and surrounding areas are now restricted by development.
Foot traffic has compacted and reduced soil coverage and led to the loss of unique moss and lichen communities. Creation of new trails and widening of original ones has further fragmented the landscape. Invasive species, like English ivy and Scotch broom, have taken advantage of these changes and outcompete native plants.
TRILLIUM Trillium ovatum
The Lighthouse Park Preservation Society has replanted this lily along Beacon Trail. It is protected by law as picking the flower results in the entire plant dying.
CHOCOLATE LILY Fritillaria lanceolata
Preferring sunny grassy bluffs, this flower's unpleasant odour attracts flies and beetles as pollinators.
IVY HOLLY HAIRY CAT'S EAR BROOM
By growing rapidly, producing enormous numbers of seeds and tolerating a broad range of conditions, these species easily outcompete native plants. Truckloads of invasive plants are regularly removed from the park by the Lighthouse Park Preservation Society.
TOWNSEND'S CHIPMUNK Tamias townsendii
Seeking the protective coverage of salal, they feed on its berries along with conifer seeds. Only a couple of isolated populations survive locally.
SOOTY GROUSE Dendragapus obscurus
These birds migrate between lower-level open forests up to the dense conifer-treed mountainsides. Visitors miss their elaborate noisy courtship displays of head bobs and dances, during which males inflate their neck sacs to amplify their hooting.
RED-LEGGED FROG Rana aurora
This "at risk" species requires cool forests with slow-running streams and permanent wetlands to breed. Males attract mates by calling under water.