endangered species

Sage Grouse Not Listed Under Endangered Species Act

Sep 22, 2015
Jeannie Stafford, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service / / Flickr Creative Commons

The Interior Department’s announcement that there will be no federal protection for the greater sage grouse caps years of controversy and uncertainty over one of the West’s most difficult environmental problems.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Wildlife experts from Oregon, Washington and California say wolf activity has been increasing in all three states.

River Design Group

Evans Creek is barely a trickle. A dry summer in Southern Oregon means the important salmon and steelhead creek, a tributary of the Rogue River, disappears below the gravel bed in places. Seemingly stagnant isolated pools are all that remain in some areas.

Courtney Flatt / EarthFix

The plight of greater sage grouse is at the top of mind for ranchers, conservationists and politicians across the West — so much so that one ranch in southeastern Oregon has put a wildlife biologist on its payroll.

Sage Grouse Development Rules Passed in Oregon

Jul 29, 2015

Oregon is one step closer to putting together a plan to protect greater sage grouse. The state passed new rules Monday to help guide large scale development near important habitat in Eastern Oregon. The turkey-sized bird is uniting ranchers and conservationists in an effort to keep it off the Endangered Species List.

Historically, sage grouse spanned 11 western states. Good habitat throughout those states has become greatly fragmented by things like invasive weeds, wildfire, encroaching juniper trees and development.

Idaho's Snake River sockeye were nearly wiped out in the 1990s. But now these salmon are on their way back. Officials released a new recovery plan Monday.

At one point, the sockeye run returning to spawn in Idaho's Redfish Lake was down to just one fish. They called him Lonesome Larry.

The species was listed as endangered, and a captive breeding program was designed to rebuild the population.

Tom Flagg is a manager with NOAA Fisheries. He says that program has paid off. Last year, more than 1,500 sockeye returned.

BLM Proposes Sage Grouse Protection Plans

May 28, 2015
Bureau of Land Management Oregon and Washington

The BLM is proposing actions like improving habitat, managing fire more carefully, and preventing habitat fragmentation.

Dan Morse is with the Oregon Natural Desert Association. He's pleased that the plan calls for protections for two of the state’s most important habitat strongholds.

“Our hope is that those protections will be meaningful. That being said we cannot only focus on those large areas. Because disconnecting sage grouse populations is a sure recipe for their extirpation,” says Morse.

Rob Manning / OPB

The Northwest’s most iconic bird could get a conservation boost in the coming years.  

On Wednesday the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is announcing it will review the protection status of the Northern Spotted Owl. The result could be an endangered species listing. 

Yellowstone National Park

Would you like to see more grizzly bears in Washington’s North Cascades? That’s what the federal government is asking during informational meetings across the state. A plan is in the works to consider adding more grizzlies to Washington’s dwindling population.

Okanogan is a small town nestled in the foothills of Washington’s North Cascade mountains. It’s surrounded by rangeland, apple orchards, and hiking trails. Ranches and homesteads butt up to the Okanogan National Forest and other public lands.

Idaho biologists say the number of wolves is likely declining, but their count of breeding pairs of wolves -- a key number used to measure the health of the state’s wolf population -- has actually gone up.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

The work of rearing threatened plants and animals for restoration to the wild takes time and patience and it is labor intensive. In Oregon and Washington, a growing population doing that work is inmates.

Captain Chad Naugle / ODOC

In a growing number of Northwest prisons, inmates are rearing endangered plants, butterflies, turtles and frogs for release in the wild.


Orca enthusiasts rejoiced when a newborn calf was spotted seven weeks ago. But as of this morning the endangered killer whale calf has not been seen.

L120 was the first calf born in the past two years. Over the weekend, the calf’s mother was spotted three times, without her baby. Orca experts believe the calf is dead, though no carcass has been found and it's unclear how it died.

Conservationists Sue For Wolverine Protections

Oct 14, 2014
Josh More / Flickr

Wolverines need deep snowpack to build their nests and rear their young. But climate models project a rise in temperatures across the wolverine’s current habitat in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Washington, and Oregon.

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed endangered species protection for west coast populations of the fisher. It’s a relative of the weasel.

Teal Waterstrat (USFWS) / Flickr

The Oregon spotted frog will now receive protection under the Endangered Species Act. The small frog was once abundant in the Northwest. It’s now mostly found in a few scattered wetlands.

Steve Kroschel / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The wolverine is not going on the threatened species list after all. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that federal protected status for the fierce and rare carnivore is unwarranted at this time.

Tambako the Jaguar / Flickr

A federal threatened species listing for the wolverine is looking increasingly unlikely. Protected status was put on the table in anticipation of harm due to global warming. At present, the fierce and rare carnivore is making a slow comeback in the Northwest and Northern Rockies. Correspondent Tom Banse reports.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

It’s been ninety years since the last native California wolf was trapped and killed. Last week, Oregon wildlife officials announced that OR-7, the wolf they’ve tracked wandering in and out of northern California, had found a mate and fathered a new litter in southern Oregon. That news contributes to the growing sense that it’s only a matter of time till wolves re-inhabit the Golden State. Against this backdrop, California wildlife officials extended endangered species status to the gray wolf. From Jefferson Public Radio, Liam Moriarty reports.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

A plan to poison 3,500 ravens in Idaho won’t proceed this year as state wildlife managers had hoped. The idea is to stop the ravens from eating the eggs of the imperiled sage grouse. Conservation groups call it a ridiculous scheme. An online petition against the plan has received more than 60,000 signatures.

Oregon Landowners Agree To Protect Sage Grouse

May 21, 2014
Pacific Southwest Region U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

One county in Southeastern Oregon has announced one of the largest land conservation agreements in the state to protect greater sage grouse. The birds live in sagebrush country, but their habitat is shrinking because of people, wildfires and invasive species.

Lone Caribou Herd In Lower 48 Keeps Federal Protection

May 7, 2014
U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service

U.S. Wildlife officials said a small herd of mountain caribou found in the Northwest will retain federal protection. But, it will be as a threatened species rather than endangered. These caribou are the last in the Lower 48.

Oregon Department of Forestry

Conservation groups want timber companies to know they'll sue if an endangered seabird's habitat is threatened by logging. The groups object to the potential privatization of the Elliott State Forest in Oregon's coast range.

Panel Finds Feds Didn't Use Best Science In Wolf Plan

Feb 7, 2014

A new independent review finds the federal government used uncertain science when it proposed taking the gray wolf off the endangered species list across the Lower 48.

Oregon Chub Removed From Endangered Species List

Feb 4, 2014
Rachael McDonald

A small minnow native to Oregon's Willamette Valley has been removed from the Federal Endangered Species List. The Oregon Chub is the first fish to be delisted because its population has been restored. the announcement came Tuesday near Eugene.

It's not something we often think about, but as we go about daily life, we're constantly shedding little flakes of skin. So are animals and fish.

New Hope For Recovering An Endangered Deer

Nov 27, 2013
Courtney Flatt

The Columbian white-tailed deer have struggled to survive. In fact, their population fell so much they were once thought to be extinct. The deer still have a long ways to go, but biologists say the species is now quickly making a come back.

The US fish and Wildlife Service has proposed naming the Oregon Spotted Frog a threatened species.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

The White Bluffs bladderpod is a small flower facing some big issues.  It’s a short plant with bright yellow flowers and small inflated pods – hence its name.  At first glance, there’s nothing special about it.  It isn’t edible and doesn’t have any herbal use that we know of.   But the bladderpod is rare.  It appears to grow only in a 17 mile long strip of federal lands in the Columbia Basin.  Right now, U.S. Fish and Wildlife lists the bladderpod as “threatened.”  They would like to list it as “endangered.” 

US Fish And Wildlife Propose To Delist Gray Wolf

Jun 10, 2013

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Friday it plans to stop protecting the gray wolf and put the states in charge of managing these predators. But the plan is already facing some tough opposition from wolf advocate groups that say it’s too early for this discussion. EarthFix reporter Aaron Kunz explains.