Threatened & Endangered Species


The Willamette Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex is home to 10 different federally listed species of plants and wildlife. Included here are the 8 species William L. Finley NWR and the Snag Boat Bend Unit staff are actively managing lands to protect. Two federally listed fish species can also be found on the Snag Boat Bend Unit Willamette River tributaries, Chinook salmon and steelhead, which are listed as threatened in the Upper Willamette Evolutionarily Significant Unit-ESU. 

  • Bradshaw's Lomatium

    Bradshaw's Desert Parsley

    Endangered wildflower. Also known as Bradshaw's desert parsley, this wildflower's habitat includes wet prairies and seasonal wet pastures. Suppression of natural disturbances have resulted in Bradshaw's desert parsley being overtaken by woody vegetation and over predated by small mammals such as voles. Prescribed fire and mowing are management strategies being used successfully to increase refuge populations of the flower. 

  • Willamette Daisy


    Endangered wildflower. The Willamette daisy typically occurs in upland prairie and oak savanna habitats with little to no shrub cover. These habitats require periodic disturbances that prevent the encroachment of trees and shrubs to maintain the open landscape, thus suppression of these disturbances has led to habitat loss and a decline in the daisy populations. The refuge uses prescribed fire and mowing to prevent this encroachment and boosts population numbers with supplemental plantings and the use of herbicides on non-native competitors. 

  • Nelson's Checker-mallow

    Nelson's CM

    Threatened wildflower. Nelson's checker-mallow typically occurs in wet prairies and floodplains of the Willamette Valley and Coast Range. Its habitat is threatened much like that of the Willamette Daisy due to the suppression and elimination of natural disturbances, resulting in the encroachment of woody vegetation. Refuge staff is working to recover this flower through supplemental plantings and habitat management techniques such as mowing and prescribed fire. 

  • Golden Paintbrush


    Threatened prairie wildflower. Golden paintbrush typically occurs in upland prairie habitats with flat or mounded topography. Completely extirpated from its historic range in Oregon by 1983, the paintbrush was reintroduced to this area through the Golden Paintbrush Recovery Plan. Biologists on Finley actively work to boost the golden paintbrush populations through supplemental plantings, prescribed burns and mowing on refuge prairies. Aside from the Willamette Valley, golden paintbrush has been found in Washington and British Columbia in the Puget Sound area. Over half of the eleven sites found there occur on Whidbey, San Juan and Lopez Islands. 

  • Kincaid's Lupine

    Kincaid's Lupine

    Threatened prairie wildflower. Kincaid's lupine occurs in upland prairies and oak savanna habitats with little to no shrub cover. Habitat loss and lack of regular disturbances (which prevent the encroachment of trees and shrubs) have caused populations of the flower to dramatically decline. The protection of this plant species is not only important for its own survival, but it is a vital element in the survival of the endangered Fender's blue butterfly. Kincaid's lupine is Fender's blue butterfly's primary larval host plant, making the fight for the flower a fight for the butterfly as well. Refuge staff utilize prescribed fire, mowing, and herbicide treatment of non-native plants to maintain the open habitat the flower requires and supports its populations through plantings.  

  • Fender's Blue Butterfly

    Male Fenders BB

    Endangered butterfly. Fender's blue butterfly was thought to be extinct from 1940 until the late 1980's when biologists discovered a few remaining populations in the Willamette Valley. It prefers native upland prairies with abundant flowering plants that provide food for larvae and adults. Kincaid's lupine is its primary larval host plant. The open structure of prairies is just as important to this butterfly as all the threatened and endangered prairie wildflowers. Refuge staff maintain these habitats through burns and mowing. The largest known population of this butterfly is found on Baskett Butte at Baskett Slough NWR. While this butterfly is not currently common on William L. Finley NWR, habitat restoration has been underway on Pigeon Butte and biologists released butterfly larvae on April 7th, 2014, and plan to release adults in May.

  • Streaked Horned Lark

    Streaked Horned Lark

    Threatened passerine. The streaked horned lark was first listed under the Endangered Species Act in 2013, and critical habitat has been designated on all three Willamette Valley Complex Refuges. The habitat favored by the lark is characterized by wide open spaces with few trees and shrubs. The designated habitat areas are managed by the Service for streaked horned lark use through reintegration of natural disturbance processes, such as fires, which prevent large shrubs from encroaching.

  • Oregon Chub

    Oregon chub

    Threatened native minnow, proposed for delisting. Oregon chub is found in the Willamette River basin where its habitat includes slow moving off-channel waterways such as flooded marshes and backwater sloughs. It was originally listed as endangered in 1993 with a total of 8 known populations. Reasons for its decline include habitat alteration, predation from and competition with non-native species, and water quality degradation. Due to hard work by the USFWS and ODFW, the chub now has 50 known populations, 19 of which are either stable or rising in numbers, and was downlisted to threatened in 2010.  On February 4th, 2014, the proposal to remove the Oregon chub from the endangered species list was released. Follow this link to read the news release. 

  • Peacock Larkspur

    Peacock Larkspur

    While not a federally listed species, peacock larkspur is considered a Service Species of Concern and is listed as endangered under the Oregon Endangered Species Act. A native, perennial forb in the buttercup family, peacock larkspur is a Willamette Valley endemic species adapted to prairie conditions. Fire management practices on refuge prairies have proved to be beneficial to the species, by keeping woody shrubs from establishing themselves and preserving the open prairie habitat. The largest population within its range is found on Finley NWR's north prairie.