Wildlife & Habitat

Goose On Log - James Cook_512x219

Donated to primarily protect flocks of wintering Canada geese, this small refuge has a huge impact on the preservation of many native species and habitats, including some that are considered threatened and even endangered in the State of Washington.

  • Birds

    Peregrine - Roger Windemuth_150x118

    From the Peregrine falcons that nest on Beacon rock in the spring to the Canada geese that spend their winters there fattening up for the long journey home, this small piece of land along the Columbia river is a resting place to many species throughout the year.

  • Mammals

    Elk - Albert Lavallee_150x118

    Besides the abundance of birds, other wildlife such as the Roosevelt elk, black bear and bobcats find a protected home at Pierce. The refuge also provides potentially suitable habitat for several species of state listed mammals such as the Pacific townsend big-eared bat, the Western gray squirrel, the Brush prairie pocket gopher, and the gray-tailed vole.

  • Amphibians and Reptiles

    Pond Turtle - USFWS_150x118

    Since 2000, Refuge staff have worked with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Oregon Zoo to establish a breeding population western pond turtles, a state-endangered species. The turtles have been found breeding in only three other locations along the Columbia River. Its habitat and protected status make the Refuge an ideal for these turtles.

  • Fish


    Hardy Creek supports one of the last remaining runs of chum salmon still existing within the Columbia River. Current chum runs in the Columbia are estimated to be only 3% of their historic total of 1,392,000 adults. Hardy creek also supports small remnant runs of coho, steelhead and chinook salmon, as well as a variety of native species of freshwater fish.

  • Habitat

    Oak Tree - USFWS_150x118

    From 1955 to 1988 the cattle pastures of Pierce Ranch attracted scores of wintering geese. Endeared to those geese that took refuge on her ranch, Mrs. Lena Pierce took action to conserve the land and its wildlife. Today, grassland and wetland habitats support a diversity of wintering waterfowl while stands of cottonwood and oak provide habitat for other birds and mammals.