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Restoring Wildlife

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Wildlife need healthy habitat. Conservation Northwest protects native wildlife by connecting and protecting the places animals need to live, breed, and roam.

The Northwest is home to diverse wildlife and habitat

Grizzly bears need room to roam
Grizzly bears need room to roam

Diverse animal species make our region rich and vibrant. And thriving wildlife signals healthy forests and watersheds. 

Conservation Northwest protects and connects wild areas for wildlife. Intact and functional habitat gives wildlife room to live and breathe, and ensures safe passage and connectivity between wild landscapes.

We also champion rare and recovering wildlife in our region, from gray wolves, wolverines, lynx and grizzly bears, to marbled murrelets, mountain caribou and pacific fishers. Our wildlife advocacy, annual Wild Links Conference and Citizen Wildlife Monitoring programs are at the core of our work for a wilder Northwest.

Working from the top down

We focus on protecting larger predators and other animals, both predators and prey. By protecting rare and iconic wildlife – grizzly bears, wolves, lynx, fishers, and wolverines – and connecting the habitat they need, we safeguard related wildlife populations – elk, snowshoe hare, mule deer, owls, woodpeckers, and the other myriad smaller critters – in forest and meadow.

Forests and other wild lands support a wealth of ecosystem services, from storing carbon to building rich soils to filter rivers, streams, and lakes, keeping them clear and clean. Protecting, connecting, and restoring native ecosystems keeps those services strong.

Focusing on key species 

  • For Washington's wolves, we're focused on reducing conflicts, building social tolerance and safeguarding recovery.
  • For North Cascades grizzly bears, we've led the charge for restoration of a severely endangered population.
  • For fishers in Washington, we helped lead successful reintroduction efforts on the Olympic Peninsula and are currently key players in planning for their reintroduction in North Cascades and Mount Rainier National Parks.
  • For marbled murrelets, we're fighting for habitat protections in ancient coastal forests. 
  • For wolverines, we're monitoring natural recovery in the Cascades and going to court to ensure they get the Endangered Species Act protections they need to survive. 
  • For Canada lynx, we're lobbying for critical habitat protections and connections in the Northwest, including in Okanogan County and the Kettle River Range.
  • For mountain caribou, we helped protect five million acres in the Inland Temperate Rainforest of British Columbia, connecting down to the U.S. border. We continue to support caribou recovery efforts in Washington and British Columbia.
  • For cougars, we're advocating for sensible conservation and management policies and preserving habitat and sustainable prey populations. 
  • For other wildlife from bighorn sheep to bull trout, in northeast Washington, we've helped ranchers gain conservation easements and improve range conditions..
  • For deer, black bear, American marten, and many other wildlife, we're helping ensure safe passage across roads in the Cascades and Okanogan.

Using science-based tools

  • To protect endangered wildlife, such as winning listing for Canada lynx, we use existing laws such as the Endangered Species Act.
  • To document wildlife and get the best snapshot of where they are and how they are doing, we've run the oldest volunteer wildlife monitoring program in the state. Our monitoring project teams were the first to document wolves returned to Washington, and wolverines returning south of Stevens Pass in the Cascades.
  • To best connect habitat wildlife habitat, we're part of statewide coalitions, including the I-90 Wildlife Bridges Coalition, I-90 Wildlife Watch, Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition and Washington Wildlife Habitat Connectivity Working Group.
  • Land and wildlife conservation is even more essential and urgent in a time of rapidly changing climate. Learn why.
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