Native prairie habitats have been nearly extirpated from the Puget Sound region and are the most endangered ecosystem in the state. A number of rare and endangered plant and butterfly species are associated with this habitat. Funding will be used to provide crucial restoration information to land managers while restoring expanses of critical habitat for rare species on protected prairie sites. The increased capacity for seed production, and the development and documentation of seed handling techniques associated with this project will have immediate and long lasting benefits for the restoration of rare and endangered species in the region.
The objectives of this project are to:
Contact: Ted Thomas
Species benefitted: Golden paintbrush, Taylor’s checkerspot, Mardon skipper, Valley silverspot
Partners: University of Washington; The Nature Conservancy; Western Washington University; Washington Department of Natural Resources (WDNR); Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)
The purpose of this project is to identify potential nest predators of the western snowy plover and how they utilize the restoration area at Leadbetter Point, Washington. In 2010, predator monitoring and management activities included:
Contact: Martha Jensen
Species benefitted: Western snowy plover
Partners: Willapa National Wildlife Refuge; Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
The primary objective of this project is to use genetic population assignments to assess the impact that Swift Dam has on bull trout in the Lewis River system upstream of the dam. Presently, bull trout are observed below the dam and in the Lewis River bypass reach connecting Swift and Yale Reservoirs. These fish are presumed to have originated in tributaries upstream of Swift Dam and are unable to return to natal spawning tributaries due to a lack of fish passage facilities at Swift Dam.
To date, none of these individuals have been transported above the dam due to this uncertainty of their origin. If we determine that bull trout collected below Swift Dam and in the bypass reach do originate from upstream tributaries, we plan to work with PacifiCorp to implement a protocol to provide guidance for upstream fish transport decisions. These actions will directly benefit two local bull trout populations above Swift Dam (Pine and Rush Creeks) by providing increased numbers of spawning adults for these two relatively small populations. Furthermore, this project will help provide fish passage and help maintain a migratory life history component in the Lewis River bull trout population, two actions considered important for species recovery.
Contact: Jeff Chan
Species benefitted: Bull trout
Partners: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Abernathy Fish Technology Center; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Columbia River Fisheries Resource Office; Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife; PacifiCorps
The Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit was listed as endangered in 2003. The last known wild subpopulation was extirpated by early 2004. A captive breeding program was initiated by WDFW to reintroduce the rabbit back into suitable habitats within their historic range. However the program was not successful in providing the number of offspring needed for reintroduction. The objective of this project is to translocate wild pygmy rabbits from adjacent states and the remaining rabbits in captivity to suitable habitat in Washington State, in an attempt to re-establish a population. Wild rabbits will be trapped in fall 2010 and/or late winter 2010/2011, and transported immediately to the selected sites. Roughly 70% of all rabbits will be equipped with radio-transmitters to track survival, dispersal, breeding, and predation.
Contact: Chris Warren
Species benefitted: Pygmy rabbit
Partners: Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife; private landowners; The Nature Conservancy; Washington State University; Bureau of Land Management
The Mazama pocket gopher (Thomomys mazama), restricted to the Pacific Coast, is a Federal candidate for listing under the Endangered Species Act, a Washington State Threatened Species, and a Species of Greatest Conservation Need in Washington’s State Wildlife Conservation Strategy. The Mazama pocket gopher faces increasing threats from commercial and residential development which can fragment, isolate, and extirpate populations. Many large protected prairie sites in south Puget Sound, such as West Rocky Prairie Wildlife Area (WDFW), Mima Mounds Natural Area Preserve (WDNR) and Glacial Heritage (Thurston County) currently lack populations of Mazama pocket gopher.
This second year of the project continued to evaluate the feasibility of using translocations as a tool for reducing the likelihood of extinction of Mazama pocket gopher in south Puget Sound. This was accomplished by reintroducing gophers to protected sites and monitoring their survival and site fidelity.
Contact: Kim Flotlin
Species benefitted: Mazama pocket gopher
Partners: Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife; The Nature Conservancy; Wildlife Conservation Society; Port of Olympia
Restoration of Leadbetter coastal habitat began in 2002. This restoration has directly supported the recovery needs of the western snowy plover, streaked horned lark, and pink sand verbena.
Western snowy plover and streaked horned lark numbers have declined along the U.S. Pacific coast due to habitat loss and expanding predator populations. One of the most significant causes of habitat loss for coastal breeding has been the encroachment of introduced beachgrasses. These grasses outcompete native vegetation, alter the dune ecosystem, and form dense stands that reduce the amount and quality of nesting habitat for native wildlife.
Mechanical and chemical removal and control of Ammophila (beachgrasses) have resulted in 350 acres of restored habitat that has successfully attracted nesting plovers and larks and supports a rare plant species. This area supports the only known population of pink sand verbena in Washington State. All three species, snowy plover, streaked horned lark, and pink sand verbena, were closely monitored in 2010.
Contact: Ginger Phalen
Species benefitted: Western snowy plover, streaked-horned lark, and pink sand verbena
Partner: Willapa National Wildlife Refuge
Efforts to recover and conserve rare carnivores have been underway in the North Cascades for many years. Understanding the current distribution and status of these species is important in determining appropriate recovery actions.
The main objectives of this study are to:
Contact: Jodi Bush