Types of Animals in the Temperate Woodland & Shrubland

Updated July 20, 2017

Biologists and ecologists categorise the earth's various ecosystems into biomes, geographical areas that share a similar climate, plant and animal population. The temperate woodland and shrubland biome is on the western coasts of South Africa, Australia, and North and South America. According to Blue Planet Biomes, this biome is a mix of woodland and scrub brush (known as chaparral) mixed with grassy areas and wildflowers. Summers typically are hot and dry and wildfires are common. Animal life is abundant in this biome.

Reptiles and Amphibians

A variety of reptiles and amphibians are among the animals you might find in the world's temperate woodlands and shrublands. In the United States, snakes such as the California whipsnake and the mysterious, little-seen night snake live in this biome. Rattlesnakes also are common. In Europe, you likely would find the Montpellier snake, arrow snake and leopard snake. Other reptiles and amphibians of this biome include the Western pond turtle and a variety of salamanders, newts, toads and frogs.


Earth's temperate woodlands and shrublands are home to a wide variety of birds such as hawks, California quail, and the western scrub jay. Songbirds, such as warblers, also are common. The cactus wren, the largest wren in the United States, makes the California chaparral its home. One of the more well known inhabitants of this biome is the roadrunner. Also known as the chaparral bird, it is the state bird of New Mexico.


Mammals are abundant in the temperate woodlands and shrublands of the world. Some of the more common inhabitants include coyote, fox, black-tailed deer, bobcats and mountain lions.

In southern Africa, you might find the aardwolf, which looks like a cross between a dog and a hyena. However, they are far less aggressive than hyenas.

In the western United States, this biome is home to the black-tailed jackrabbit, which isn't a rabbit at all but a hare. The black-tailed jackrabbit has huge, distinctive ears.

Other interesting mammals in this biome include the golden jackal, the spotted skunk, the San Joachin kit fox, and wild goat.


As in many of the world's biomes, insects are plentiful in temperate woodlands and shrublands. In particular, this biome is home to many beautiful types of butterflies, such as monarch butterflies and the zebra swallowtail butterfly, which has unusual black and white wing patterns. Dragonflies, stink beetles, spiders, and ladybirds also inhabit this biome. One of the more interesting spiders is the trap door spider, which builds a burrow with a hidden door to trap its prey.

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About the Author

Alisha Hipwell has 12 years of experience writing for newspapers, magazines and businesses. Her work has appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Business Times, Pittsburgh Professional and Whirl. She earned a Bachelor of Science in English education from Miami University and taught middle and high school English before starting her freelance career.