U.S. FISH & WILDLIFE SERVICE
 
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Mission Valley
Species of Special Concern
 
pair of redhead ducks photoHabitat types are diverse and varied with a mosaic of forests, glacial fed streams and rivers, spring creeks, riparian areas, glacial potholes, and small remnants of native Palouse prairie.

This natural diversity, along with irrigated pastures and small crop fields, makes the Mission Valley an oasis for a unique array of fish and wildlife.  Not only does the valley support some of the highest densities of ground nesting migratory birds in the lower 48 states, it is also home to a number of threatened and endangered species. These include bull trout, peregrine falcon, gray wolf, and bald eagles.


grizzly bear sow and cub photo courtesy of the National Park ServiceGrizzly bears are also becoming regular visitors to the valley floor.  Grizzlies have always inhabited the surrounding mountain ranges but were rarely seen in the lowlands. Today, it is commonplace for bears to venture into the valley. Some theories for this behavior include:
  • plentiful vole populations (a seasonal food source)

  • poor berry production in the mountains

  • changing social structure within the bear populations

  • movement by juveniles into new territories

For whatever reason, the Mission Valley has become important grizzly bear habitat.


 

 

 

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