The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is reviewing its information on native wildlife populations, asking for input from the public on 19 species as part of an annual process.
The department announced Feb. 25 that it would be reviewing a number of species that had been listed, recently delisted or under review for listing as endangered, threatened or sensitive by the state. WDFW Wildlife Diversity Division listing and recovery section manager Hannah Anderson said that the department sought information from non-governmental organizations, universities, private researches and naturalists to supplement current data.
The department’s annual review process includes 19 species: Steller sea lions, orcas, Lynx, western gray squirrels, woodland caribou, Columbian white-tailed deer, brown pelicans, white pelicans, bald eagles, peregrine falcons, greater sage-grouse, sandhill cranes, snowy plovers, marbled murrelet, northern spotted owls, streaked horned larks, Oregon vesper sparrows, western pond turtles and Taylor's checkerspot butterfly.
WDFW is specifically looking for information on species demographics, habitat conditions, threats and trends, conservation measures that have benefited the species and new data collected since the last status review for the species.
Public input is an important part of gathering the best available scientific data for any species, Anderson said.
"We greatly value this information and all the people who work with us to conserve and protect species," she added.
"We're fortunate to have people in Washington who care deeply and engage on these issues," Anderson said. "Such groups and individuals likely have valuable data, such as annual population counts or privately developed habitat management plans."
Wildlife managers will use the information to help update status reports for each species. More information on the process is available at wdfw.wa.gov/species-habitats/at-risk/status-review.
Those interested in sharing information can do so by emailing TandEpubliccom@dfw.wa.gov, or by mail to Hannah Anderson, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, P.O. Box 43141, Olympia, WA 98504-3141.
WDFW will seek additional public comments, complete a draft status review and make updated status reports available on the department's website as they are completed. The public will be able to view the most recent species reports and past reports online.