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Wildlife & Habitat

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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.

Habitat is home to diverse wildlife

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

Diverse wildlife makes the Northwest 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.

Our M.O. is simple: connect the big landscapes, protect the most vulnerable wildlife, and conserve our natural heritage for future generations.

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.

Learn about recovery efforts for the threatened North Cascades grizzly bear

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.

  • For Washington's wolves, we're focused on wolf recovery.
  • For Cascades grizzly bears, we've led the charge to win recovery for a severely endangered population.
  • For fishers in Washington, we are key players in their reintroduction to the Olympic Peninsula and the Cascades.
  • For wolverines, we're 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 in the Northwest
  • For mountain caribou, we helped protect 5 million acres in the Inland Temperate Rainforest of British Columbia, connecting down to the US border.
  • For cougars, we're preserving habitat and sustainable prey populations. 
  • For wildlife from bighorn sheep to red-band rainbow trout, in northeast Washington, we've helped ranchers gain conservation easements.
  • 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, 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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