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Endangered Species

These western snowy plover chicks will hopefully contribute to the recovery of the species/USFWS Photo

Willapa National Wildlife Refuge is home to a variety of plants and animals that are federally threatened and endangered, as well as Federal candidate and State-listed species.

  • Endangered Species Act

    The United States Congress passed the Endangered Species Preservation Act in 1966, and then a more comprehensive law, the Endangered Species Act(ESA), in 1973 to help animals and plants. This legislation allows for the identification, protection, and recovery of threatened and endangered birds, insects, fish, reptiles, mammals, crustaceans, flowers, grasses, and trees. Not only are the organisms protected by this law, their habitat is, too!

    Learn more about the Endangered Species Act…

  • Designations

    Under the Endangered Species Act, species may have a variety of designations. Each State has similar laws that protect local populations of species in decline.

    Endangered species are in danger of extinction.

    Threatened species are those likely to become endangered within the “foreseeable future.”

    Candidate Species are those that will be listed as threatened or endangered, unless successful conservation measures are taken to eliminate the need for listing.

    Species of Concern are those potentially at risk and need more study. This designation does not carry any protections under the Endangered Species Act.

    State-monitored Species are not considered a species of concern, but are monitored for status and distribution. They are managed as needed to prevent them from becoming endangered or threatened.

  • Coastal Tailed Frog

    The coastal tailed frog is dependent on cold, fast moving stream/Photo Courtesy of Jackson D Shedd

    This unusual frog is highly adapted for life in shady, cold, fast-moving streams. Loss of stream habitat has affected the tailed frog. It is a Federal Species of Concern.

    Find out more about the tailed frog…

    Learn more about refuge stream conservation efforts that benefit this species…

  • Columbia Torrent Salamander

    The Columbia torrent salamander has a limited range in Washington and Oregon. It is dependent on the habitats found in older conifer forests. This species is a Federal Species of Concern and a State Candidate Species.

    Uncover more about the Refuge salamanders…

    Learn more about Refuge forest conservation efforts that benefit this species…

  • Dunn's Salamander

    Willapa National Wildlife Refuge protects most of the habitat used by the Dunn's salamander/Photo Courtesy of Jackson D Shedd

    This salamander has a limited range in Washington State and the refuge protects most of its habitat. It is a State Candidate Species.

    Discover more about the Dunn’s…

    Learn more about refuge forest and stream conservation efforts that benefit this species…

  • Eulachon

    Eulachon are also known as candlefish/Photo Courtesy of James Crip

    This small fish is also known as Pacific smelt or candlefish. They are an anadromous fish returning to rivers along the Pacific Coast to spawn. In the 1990s populations declined and the eulachon was listed as a Federal Threatened Species in 2010.

    Learn more about refuge stream conservation efforts that benefit this species…

  • Green Sturgeon

    Green sturgeon wander the waters of the Pacific Coast and enter estuaries, like Willapa Bay, to spawn/Photo Courtesy of California Department of Water Conservation

    These ancient fish are believed to spend most of their lives in near shore areas of oceans, bays and estuaries. They use both salt and fresh water habitats. Green sturgeon enters Washington estuaries, such as Willapa Bay, during the summer. This species was listed as a Federally Threatened Species in 2006. A major reason for decline is the loss of spawning habitat.

    Learn more about refuge stream conservation efforts that benefit this species…

  • Marbled Murrelet

    Marbled murrelets are a seabird that nests in old conifer trees/USFWS Photo

    This seabird nests in old growth forests. The big trees it depends upon are nearly gone in this region. The marbled murrelet is listed as a State and Federal Threatened Species.

    Uncover more about this unique bird…

    Learn more about refuge forest conservation efforts to help this species…

  • Newcomb's Littorine Snail

    The Newcomb's littorine snail lives in the salt marsh of the refuge

    Not much is known about this snail beyond its need for salt marsh habitat. It is a Federal Species of Concern and a State Candidate Species.

    Learn more about refuge estuary conservation efforts that benefit this species…

  • Northern Spotted Owl

    The northern spotted owl has not been seen in the refuge for over a decade/NPS photo

    This owl was historically known to use the forests within the present refuge boundaries. A pair was last seen in the Cedar Grove Registered Natural Area (RNA) in 1985. A pair of adults and one juvenile was documented in the Teal Slough/Headquarters Unit in 1998. This rare owl was listed as a Federally Threatened Species in 1990 and its populations continue to decline throughout its range.

    Learn more about refuge forest conservation efforts that benefit this species…

  • Oregon Silverspot Butterfly

    The Oregon Silverspot butterfly gets its name from the silver spots under its hind wings/Photo Courtesy of Mike Patterson

    This orange and brown butterfly with the silver spots was last documented in Washington State in 1990. Due to changes in in native coastal prairie habitat, the Oregon silverspot butterfly in now only found in a few locations along the Pacific Coast. It was listed as a Federal Threatened Species in 1980.

    Discover more about the Oregon silverspot…

    Explore efforts made by the refuge to restore native coastal prairie habitat and this species…

  • Red Knot

    Red knots stop in Willapa Bay to rest and feed during spring and fall migration/Photo Courtesy of Len Blumin

    This shorebird travels long distances each year between nesting and wintering ground, stopping to rest and refuel in and near Willapa Bay. Red knot populations have been experiencing a drastic decline and are considered a federal Species of Concern.

    Uncover more about the red knot…

    Learn more about refuge estuary conservation efforts that benefit this species…

  • Streaked Horned Lark

    Willlapa National Wildlife Refuge is one of the few places the streaked horned lark is found/NPS Photo

    This subspecies is a small, endemic population found only in a few locations in Washington and Oregon. The streaked horned lark nests in the coastal dunes of the refuge. It is a Federal Candidate Species.

    Find out more about the streaked horned lark…

    Learn more about refuge dune conservation efforts that benefit this species...

  • Van Dyke's Salamander

    This salamander is dependent on the cool, moist habitats found in older conifer forests. The Van Dyke’s salamander is a Federal Species of Concern and a State Candidate Species.

    Find out more about Refuge salamanders…

    Learn more about Refuge forest conservation efforts that benefit this species...

  • Western Pearlshell Mussel

    Western pearlshell mussels are found in refuge streams/USFWS Photo

    Native freshwater mussels have been decline through North America. The western pearlshell mussel requires a salmonid host to reproduce; therefore its fate is linked to that of salmon and coastal cutthroat trout. This mussel is a State –monitored Species.

    Explore the unusual life of the western pearlshell mussel…

    Learn more about refuge stream conservation efforts that benefit this species…

  • Western Snowy Plover

    Western snowy plovers breed in refuge dunes/USFWS Photo

    This small shorebird nests in the coastal dunes protected by the refuge. The Pacific coast population of the western snowy plover was listed as Threatened in 1993. Prior to the federal listing, Washington State designated this species as Endangered in 1981.

    Discover more about the western snowy plover…

    Learn more about refuge dune conservation efforts that benefit this species…

  • Endangered Species Day

    The Endangered Species Day logo was created by Jennifer Hennessey

    On the third Friday in May, Endangered Species Day encourages people to know more about wildlife in trouble.  

    Learn more about this day...

Page Photo Credits — Western snowy plover chicks - USFWS, Coastal tailed frog - © Jackson D. Shedd, Dunn's salamander - ©Jackson D Shedd, Eulachon - ©James Crippen, Green sturgeon - California State Dept. of  Water Resources, Winter plumage marbled murrelet - USFWS, Newcomb's littorine snails, Spotted owl - NPS, Oregon silverspot butterfly - ©Mike Patterson, Red knot - ©Lee Blumin, Streaked horned lark - NPS, Western pearlshell mussel - USFWS/Marie Fernandez, Western snowy plover - USFWS, Endangered Species Day logo - ©Jennifer Hennessey
Last Updated: Dec 06, 2013
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