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Washington State Species and Communities of Special Concern

Information for Family Forest Owners

As a good land steward, it is important to be aware of plant and animal species of special concern that may occur on your lands, and how forest management activities may affect these species. WASIC is pleased to provide a series of factsheets on species of special concern that may occur on forested lands within Washington State. Each species factsheet includes a description of the species, habitat, range, and information on known threats to populations in Washington.

Oregon Spotted Frog

This species is a medium-sized pond-breeding frog that is highly aquatic. They live in or near permanent bodies of water year-round. Current populations occur in Thurston and Klickitat counties.

Northern Leopard Frog

This species is a medium-sized pond breeding frog that lives in wetlands, wet meadows, and along stream and river corridors. Current populations occur near Moses Lake.

Western Pond Turtle

This species is a medium-sized pond turtle that lives in wetlands, ponds, lakes, and slow-moving parts of streams and rivers. Current populations occur in several places along the Columbia Gorge.

Sharp Tailed Grouse

This species is a small prairie grouse that lives in shrub steppe and meadow steppe with intermittent forest. Current populations occur in Okanogan, Douglas, and Lincoln counties.

Northern Spotted Owl

This species is a medium-sized forest-dwelling owl that lives in older, multi-aged coniferous forests. Spotted owls occur in older forests in western Washington and along the eastside of the Cascade crest in forests with a mix of Douglas-fir and pine.

American Peregrine Falcon

This subspecies is a medium-sized bird of prey that lives in cliffs, usually near a waterbody. Populations are currently found in cliff habitat in many locations in Washington, especially west of the Cascade crest.

Sandhill Crane

This species is a very large crane that generally use wet meadows and the edges of wetlands for nesting. There are several subspecies of sandhill cranes and can be found migrating and/or nesting throughout Washington state.

Keen's Myotis


This is a small forest-dwelling bat that lives in the wet low-elevation forests. This species occurs on the Olympic Peninsula and in low-elevation northwestern Washington.

Western Gray Squirrel

This species is a large tree squirrel that lives in mixed pine and fir forests, often in association with oak woodlands. This species occurs in Pierce, Thurston, Chelan, Okanogan, Klickitat, and Yakima counties.

Columbian White-tailed Deer

This is s subspecies of white-tailed deer that lives in wet bottomland forests, meadows, and prairies that occur on islands and along the banks of the Columbia River. This subspecies occurs in Wahkiakum and Cowlitz counties.

Woodland Caribou

Woodland caribou live in dense forests in northeastern Washington.

Grizzly Bear

This bear is the larger of the two bears that occur in Washington. Grizzly bears are currently recolonizing into more remote forested habitats in the north Cascades and northeastern Washington.

Gray Wolf

This species is the largest of the wild dogs and can be twice the size of a coyote. The gray wolf is currently recolonizing more remote forest lands in the north Cascades and northeastern Washington.

Mardon Skipper

This species is a medium-sized prairie butterfly that lives in grasslands. Historic habitat includes the grasslands of the Puget Trough and meadows in pine forests east and south of Mt. Adams.

Also see the Feb 2022 WDFW State Listed Species
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