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Conserving Plants and Animals

A variety of conservation efforts in Washington are geared toward protecting plant and animal species. Some of these efforts are fairly broad and aimed at protection of our native flora and fauna. Others efforts are targeted toward rare or declining species.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Recovery efforts are underway for a number of federally listed species in Washington. There are currently 9 listed plant species and 35 listed animal species. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provides funds, primarily to state agencies under Section 6 of the ESA, to carry out many recovery projects.  Read more about western Wasnington or eastern Washington.

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife – WDFW has the authority to list wildlife species and to develop and enforce regulations. They also maintain a list of “Priority Habitats and Species” that is widely shared and used by county planners and others for land-use planning and decision-making purposes.

Washington Department of Natural Resources – Natural Heritage Program – The Natural Heritage Program is the state program responsible for the development of lists of plant species of concern. However, the NHP has no regulatory authority; the lists of species developed by the Program are advisory only.

Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program – The Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program provides grants to state agencies or local communities for a broad range of land protection, park development, farmland preservation, habitat conservation, and outdoor recreation activities.  Visit their web site for more information

Statewide System of Natural AreasThe Department of Natural Resources, Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the State Parks and Recreation Commission partner with federal land-managing agencies in the development of a statewide system of natural areas. Natural areas can be identified and designated for the conservation of plant and animal species and for ecosystems and habitats.

Washington Native Plant Society  – The mission of the  WNPS is to promote the appreciation and conservation of Washington's native plants and their habitats through study, education and advocacy. To learn more about the conservation efforts of the Washington Native Plant Society, visit their web site.

Audubon – Audubon Washington’s mission statement: “Audubon Washington conserves and restores natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth’s biological diversity.  To learn more about Audubon Washington’s conservation activities, visit their web site.

Conservation Stories

  • Conservation of Golden Paintbrush

    Golden paintbrush, federally listed as threatened, is now found in a very limited part of its former range. A partnership consisting of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Washington Natural Heritage Program, and many landowners is attempting to reverse this delcine.

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  • Kincaid's Lupine and the Boistfort Prairie

    Federally listed as endangered in 2000, Kincaid's lupine reaches its northern extent in the prairies of the Boistfort Valley of western Washington.

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  • Striped Whipsnake Surveys in Washington

    The Striped Whipsnake (Masticophis taeniatus) reaches the northern extent of its geographic range in Washington State. Radio tracking and searches for shed skins helped relocate one historical population.

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