Projects and Research

We use science and innovative technology to drive our management and conservation of terrestrial and aquatic resources. Collaboratively with partners, we seek to effectively meet today’s complex conservation challenges. Learn about a few key projects below.

 

The use, disposal, and accidental releases of contaminants can have unintended consequences for fish, wildlife, and their habitats. Fish and wildlife serve as indicators of our environment’s health and, ultimately, our own. Protecting fish and wildlife from pollution is an important part of our efforts to conserve the natural resources of Washington State. Contaminants specialists and...

Hybridization with harsh paintbrush (Castilleja hispida), one of the preferred host plants for the endangered Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly, poses a potential threat to the threatened golden paintbrush (C. levisecta), another species of conservation emphasis.

To minimize the potential for hybridization, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Washington Department of Natural...

Four subspecies of Mazama pocket gopher (Roy Prairie pocket gopher (Thomomys mazama glacialis); Olympia pocket gopher (T. m. pugetensis); Tenino pocket gopher (T. m. tumuli); and Yelm pocket gopher (T. m. yelmensis)) are found only in Thurston County (Olympia, Tenino, and Yelm pocket gophers) and Pierce County (Roy Prairie pocket gopher) in south Puget Sound, Washington.  In April...

The western snowy plover is a federally threatened and state endangered shorebird in Washington State. Only about 100 birds are thought to be in the state and only in Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties, where they nest directly on the beach sand.

On the beach sand, the easily camouflaged plover eggs and nestlings are susceptible to being crushed by humans and vehicles and are...

The population of pygmy rabbits in the Columbia Basin of Washington State is endangered, first listed in 2003. The smallest species of rabbit in North America, this tiny creature has been brought to the brink of extinction by compounding factors that threaten to push it over the edge.  The fracturing of its native shrub-steppe habitat, an increased occurrence of wildfire, and a deadly new...

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program has provided funding to the King County Noxious Weed Control Program to control knotweed in the Green/Duwamish River watershed.  Non-native knotweeds are highly invasive plants that pose an enormous challenge to land managers and restoration groups.  The Upper and Middle Green River sub-watersheds had...