Wide expanse of mountains and lakes in Conejo Open Spaces

Natural Resources

Open space areas under COSCA management contain a variety of natural resources.


FoxOne of the primary purposes of an open space system is to provide a safe, stable environment for native species of plants and animals. Such areas offer Thousand Oaks residents the increasingly rare opportunity of observing wildlife in its natural habitat. Common mammal species found in Thousand Oaks include mule deer, bobcats, coyotes, striped skunks, and raccoons.

There is potential to encounter mountain lions in most of the larger open space areas in the Conejo Valley, but sightings are typically rare as these big cats are very elusive. If you'd like to learn more about hiking in mountain lion habitat, see our Trail Safety page. For info about protecting pets and livestock, go to our Mountain Lion page.

Rare and Endangered Species

Small river supporting local plant lifeEach of the living things we see around us today is the result of a long evolutionary process of adaptation to its environment. In general, those plants and animals which are well adapted are able to reproduce successfully and are usually well represented in natural communities. Today, destruction or loss of habitat is the single greatest threat to rare or uncommon species of plants and animals. Therefore, the preservation of natural areas is an extremely important step in ensuring their survival.

Open space surrounding Thousand Oaks provides habitat for several plants and animals which have been designated by Federal or State authorities as having rare, endangered, or threatened status, including the Lyon's Pentachaeta (Pentachaeta lyonii), which is found only in the Conejo Valley. These plants and animals are the gems of our open space system and we must all take an active part in ensuring their preservation.