The sagebrush is either a food source or provides nesting, resting, thermal and escape cover for a wide variety of species. Other wildlife values associated with sagebrush include the thick canopy which protects under story vegetation (forbs) that can be a valuable food source for wildlife. Riparian areas provide structure and diversity critical for nesting, resting thermal and escape cover, as well as abundant water.
Numerous wildlife species depend upon the Monument's intact ecosystems—43 species of fish, including threatened and endangered salmon and trout; 42 mammal species; 258 bird species; 4 amphibian species; 11 reptile species; and over 1,500 invertebrate species have been documented on the Monument. At some point in almost any trip across the Monument or down the river, visitors will encounter mule deer, coyotes, white pelicans, or great blue herons. In the winter, dozens of bald eagles use the Monument. The largest elk in the state of Washington live in or visit the Monument. Beaver, mink and otter, although seldom seen, are plentiful. And thousands of insect species, many found no where else in the world, call the Monument home.
Download The Nature Conservancy's Biodiversity Report, Maps at the End (5.64MB PDF)
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Once a national wildlife refuge itself, Saddle Mountain National Wildlife Refuge still exists, but as part of the much larger Hanford Reach National Monument.