Endangered Species

Columbian white-tailed deer generally have twins/USFWS Photo

Julia Butler Hansen Refuge is home to a variety ofanimals 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.

  • Columbian White-tailed Deer

    CWTD close 150x118

    On the road to recovery, this deer is the reason for the creation of the Julia Butler Hansen Refuge. Columbian white-tailed deer were first listed as endangered in 1968 under the ESA.

    Discover more about these deer...

    Find out what the Refuge is doing to help the species recover...

  • 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 conservation efforts that benefit this species…

  • Salmon & Steelhead

    Spawning chum salmon/USFWS Photo

    The Columbian River estuary has been designated critical habitat as a rearing/migration corridor for 12 species (distinct population segments or DPS) of salmon and steelhead, including within Refuge boundaries.

    Find out more about these fish…

    The Refuge works with many partners to improve fish habitat.

  • 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 on sparsely vegetated sandy areas on Refuge islands. It is a Federal Candidate Species.

    Uncover more about this threatened bird...


  • 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...