The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking information from the public about 17 wildlife species as part of a periodic review of wildlife on Washington’s endangered and protected species lists.
The Department will use the information gathered during this process to inform Periodic Status Reviews for these state-listed species.
“Public input is an essential part of the Periodic Status Review process,” said Taylor Cotten, WDFW conservation assessment manager. “Your input will help us assess the current status of these species and whether a different conservation classification should be recommended.”
WDFW is currently seeking information about the yellow-billed cuckoo, tufted puffin, Columbian sharp-tailed grouse, Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit, fisher, sea otter, grizzly bear, Oregon silver-spot butterfly, Mazama pocket gopher; green, loggerhead, and leatherback sea turtles; and blue, fin, right, sei, and sperm whales.
WDFW is specifically looking for information about the species’ demographics, current habitat conditions, threats and trends to populations, and existing conservation measures that have benefitted the species. New data collected since the last status review for the species is helpful information for biologists.
“We are interested in obtaining information from the public, including non-governmental organizations, universities, private researchers and naturalists,” Cotten said. “Such groups and individuals could have valuable data, such as annual population counts or privately developed habitat management plans.”
The public may submit written comments via email or by mailing Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife ATTN: Taylor Cotten, P.O. Box 43141, Olympia, WA 98504.
Further public comment opportunities will be available during each individual species’ status review process.
All members of the public are invited to share their perspectives and participate in WDFW public feedback opportunities regardless of race, color, sex, age, national origin, language proficiency, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, status as a veteran, or basis of disability.
The current comment opportunity is part of a process to update status reports for each species and determine whether the species warrants its current conservation classification. After developing the status review, Department staff will brief the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission on each species’ status and the Department’s classification recommendation. Changes to a species’ classification are subject to the public rule making process.
Department staff will post updated status reports to WDFW’s website as they are completed.