Species of concern

Species of concern are native species, sub-species or ecologically significant units that warrant special attention to ensure their conservation. The number of species of concern within the Salish Sea is used by the US Environmental Protection Agency and Environment Canada as a transboundary ecosystem indicator (called "Marine Species at Risk"). 

Source

Zier, Jacqlynn and Gaydos, Joseph K. (2016). The growing number of species of concern in the Salish Sea suggests ecosystem decay is outpacing recovery. Proceedings of the 2016 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference, April 13-15, 2016
Vancouver, BC. 17 pgs.

The Tufted Puffin is among 125 species of concern found in the Salish Sea. Photo: Peter Hodum.

OVERVIEW

The growing number of species of concern in the Salish Sea suggests ecosystem decay is outpacing recovery

The number of species of concern in the Salish Sea is growing at an average annual rate of 2.6%, according to a report published in the proceedings of the 2016 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference in Vancouver, B.C.

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8/12/2018

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7/18/2018

Marine survival: New clues emerging in salmon deaths

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Chinook salmon leaping at the Ballard Locks in Seattle. Photo: Ingrid Taylar (CC BY 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/taylar/29739921130
7/16/2018

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Chemicals, disease and other stressors can increase a salmon's chance of being eaten or reduce its ability to catch food. We wrap up our series on the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project with a look at some of the lesser-known, but still significant factors contributing to salmon declines in the Salish Sea.

A harbor seal hunting anchovies. From Howe Sound Ballet video by Bob Turner: https://youtu.be/Ycx1hvrPAqc
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Could anchovies and other fish take pressure off salmon and steelhead?

A recent influx of anchovies into Puget Sound may have saved some steelhead from predators, but researchers seek more evidence to prove the connection. Our series on the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project continues with a look at these and other potential impacts from predators on the region's salmon and steelhead.

Juvenile salmon in seine. Photo courtesy: Long Live the Kings https://lltk.org/
7/2/2018

Size means survival for young salmon

Getting bigger faster can help save juvenile Chinook salmon from a gauntlet of hungry predators ranging from birds and marine mammals to larger fish. We continue our series on the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project with a look at what helps salmon grow and prepare for life in the open ocean. 

Spring Chinook Salmon. Photo: Michael Humling, US Fish & Wildlife Service
6/25/2018

Opening the black box: What’s killing Puget Sound’s salmon and steelhead?

An intensive research program in the U.S. and Canada is studying why so few salmon in the Salish Sea are returning home to spawn. They are uncovering a complex web of problems involving predators, prey and other factors that put salmon at risk as they migrate to the ocean. We begin a four-part series on the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project, including new findings presented at the 2018 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference last spring in Seattle. 

Pacific herring exposed to 50% urban stormwater runoff experienced stunted growth, unabsorbed yolk sacs, and smaller eyes than control seawater Photo credit: Louisa Harding, WSU
5/21/2018

Stormwater mimics oil spill's effect on Pacific herring

Pacific herring exposed to stormwater in Puget Sound show some of the same effects as fish exposed to major oil spills. Symptoms include heart and developmental problems.  

Harbor Seals sunning on intertidal rocks of Puget Sound. Photo: Tony Cyphert (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/tony717/14630242564
1/17/2018

Study would explore changes to protections for seals and sea lions

As wildlife managers work to recover Puget Sound’s diminished Chinook population, a proposed white paper is expected to review the impacts of some of the salmon's chief predators. The study would include a section on potential management of seals and sea lions, prompting open discussion of a long taboo subject: Could officials seek to revise the Marine Mammal Protection Act — or even conduct lethal or non-lethal removal of seals and sea lions in some cases? Such actions are hypothetical, but we look at some of the ongoing discussions around the issue as prompted by a new resolution from the Puget Sound Leadership Council. 

Southern Resident killer whales and boats. Photo courtesy of NOAA
1/3/2018

Soundwatch: Eighteen years of monitoring whale watch vessel activities in the Salish Sea

A December 2017 article in the journal PLOS One reports that incidents and violations among whale watching vessels have increased in the Central Salish Sea since 1998.

A young resident killer whale chases a chinook salmon in the Salish Sea near San Juan Island, WA. Sept 2017. Photo: (CC BY-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/21wV8rV
11/20/2017

Seals and sea lions may be slowing salmon recovery, hurting orcas

Increased consumption of Chinook salmon by seals and sea lions in the Salish Sea “could be masking the success of coastwide salmon recovery efforts,” according to a new study published in the journal Scientific Reports. Endangered resident orcas are said to be declining in part due to a lack of available Chinook, the orcas' preferred prey.

Report cover
9/5/2017

Water sampling and testing for formaldehyde at Northwest fish hatcheries

Formaldehyde is often used to control parasites on hatchery salmon and trout. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Washington State Department of Ecology conducted a joint study of formaldehyde concentrations in effluent from hatcheries in the Pacific Northwest. 

Dean Toba, a scientific technician with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, operates the agency’s screw trap on the Skagit River. The trap helps biologists estimate the number of juvenile salmon leaving the river each year. Photo: Christopher Dunagan, PSI
8/4/2017

Are we making progress on salmon recovery?

In recent decades, hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent to restore habitat for Puget Sound salmon. In this article, we look at how scientists are gauging their progress. Are environmental conditions improving or getting worse? The answer may depend on where you look and who you ask.

Fir Island Farms habitat restoration monitoring in Skagit County. Project provides rearing habitat for young threatened Chinook salmon along with other wildlife. Copyright: Bob Friel
3/30/2017

Finding a strategy to accelerate Chinook recovery

As threatened Chinook populations in Puget Sound continue to lose ground, the state is looking to new strategies to reverse the trend. In the Skagit watershed, the scientists — and the fish — are among those leading the way. 

Sea lion sunbathing between meals in Seattle's Eliott Bay. Photo: Johnny Mumbles (CC BY 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/mumbles/3283168713
1/25/2017

Study says predators may play major role in chinook salmon declines

A new study shows that increased populations of seals and sea lions are eating far more of Puget Sound’s threatened chinook than previously known, potentially hampering recovery efforts for both salmon and endangered killer whales. 

Photogrammetry image of an adult female Southern Resident (J16) as she’s about to surface with her youngest calf, born earlier in 2015, alongside. Photo: NOAA Fisheries, Vancouver Aquarium
7/20/2016

Killer whale miscarriages linked to low food supply

New techniques for studying orcas have been credited with breakthroughs in reproductive and developmental research. Drones and hormone-sniffing dogs are helping scientists connect declines in food supply with low birth rates and poor health. Update: The research described in this 2016 article has now been published in the 6/29/17 issue of the journal PLOS ONE. 

A steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in the Cascade River, WA, 2014. Photo: © Morgan Bond http://www.morganhbond.com/
6/30/2016

Advances in technology help researchers evaluate threatened Puget Sound steelhead

New, smaller acoustic tags will allow scientists to track steelhead migrations in Puget Sound in ways that were once impossible. Will they provide answers to the mysterious decline of these now-threatened fish? 

Key hypotheses include bottom-up and top-down processes and additional factors such as toxics, disease, and competition.  Graphic: Michael Schmidt, Salish Sea Marine Survival Project
6/29/2016

Mystery remains in deaths of young salmon

The Salish Sea Marine Survival Project has mobilized dozens of organizations in the U.S. and Canada to find an answer to one of the region's greatest mysteries. What is killing so many young salmon before they can return home to spawn? A series of talks at the 2016 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference brought together some of the latest research. 

Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). Photo: WDFW
6/17/2016

Contaminants higher in resident 'blackmouth' Chinook

Many of Puget Sound's Chinook salmon spend their entire lives in local waters and don't migrate to the open ocean. These fish tend to collect more contaminants in their bodies because of the sound's relatively high levels of pollution. 

6/5/2016

Snohomish Basin Protection Plan

A 2015 report from Snohomish County, King County and the Tulalip Tribes outlines protection strategies for salmon and salmon habitat within the Snohomish Basin. 

Puget Sound's orcas are among the most contaminated marine mammals in the world. Photo: Minette Layne (CC-BY-2.0) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killer_whale#/media/File:Orca_porpoising.jpg
5/18/2016

New theory rethinks spread of PCBs and other toxics in Puget Sound

Researchers are proposing a shift in thinking about how some of the region’s most damaging pollutants enter Puget Sound species like herring, salmon and orcas.

Black Scoter (Melanitta negra), one of seven new birds added to a Salish Sea-wide list of species of concern. Photo courtesy of USGS.
4/16/2016

Conference snapshot: The number of species of concern in the Salish Sea is growing steadily

The number of species of concern in the Salish Sea is growing at an average annual rate of 2.6%, according to a report published in the proceedings of the 2016 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference in Vancouver, B.C.

Salmon. Photo: Dan Hershman (CC BY-NC 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/hershman/497293505
2/29/2016

Contaminants of emerging concern in a large temperate estuary

A 2016 paper in Environmental Pollution identifies dozens of pharmaceuticals and other compounds that are accumulating in Puget Sound fish such as salmon.

Returning sockeye salmon packed gill-to-gill in the viewing windows at the Ballard Locks fish ladder. Photo: Ingrid Taylar (CC BY-NC 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/taylar/7511895940
2/18/2016

Salmon live in a topsy-turvy world upstream of the Ballard Locks

Chinook, coho and sockeye salmon, along with steelhead trout, live in the Lake Washington watershed and navigate a treacherous route through the Ballard Locks on their way to Puget Sound.

Mist from the breath of killer whales is collected at the end of a long pole then tested for dozens of different types of bacteria. Photo: Pete Schroeder
1/13/2016

Going viral: Concerns rise over potential impacts of disease on the ecosystem

From orcas to starfish to humans, disease affects every living creature in the ecosystem. Scientists are increasingly alarmed by its potential to devastate already compromised populations of species in Puget Sound.  

2015 Puget Sound Fact Book report cover
10/2/2015

2015 Puget Sound Fact Book

The 2015 Puget Sound Fact Book brings together statistics and other information about the health and makeup of the Puget Sound ecosystem. Areas of focus include climate change, geography, water quality, habitats, human dimensions and regional species. The fact book was prepared for the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound with funding from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Puget Sound Partnership.

Fishes of the Salish Sea report cover
9/30/2015

Fishes of the Salish Sea: a compilation and distribution analysis

A 2015 NOAA report creates an updated and comprehensive list of the fishes of the Salish Sea. 

Harbor porpoise surfacing. Photo: Erin D'Agnese, WDFW
9/25/2015

Harbor porpoise in the Salish Sea

In the 1940s, harbor porpoise were among the most frequently sighted cetaceans in Puget Sound, but by the early 1970s they had all but disappeared from local waters. Their numbers have since increased, but they remain a Species of Concern in the state of Washington. This in-depth profile looks at harbor porpoise in the Salish Sea, and was prepared by the SeaDoc Society for inclusion in the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound. 

2014 state of salmon in watersheds report cover
9/13/2015

2014 state of salmon in watersheds executive summary

This report documents how Washingtonians have responded to the challenges of protecting and restoring salmon and steelhead to healthy status. It also serves as a tool to summarize achievements, track salmon recovery progress through common indicators, and identify data gaps that need to be filled.

Harbor porpoise. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service.
8/5/2015

Increased harbor porpoise mortality in the Pacific Northwest, USA: understanding when higher levels may be normal

A 2015 paper in the journal Diseases of Aquatic Organisms examines potential causes of increased harbor porpoise strandings in Washington and Oregon.  

2012 State of Salmon in Watersheds Executive Summary report cover
7/21/2015

2012 state of salmon in watersheds executive summary

Salmon recovery demands both dedication among people with different interests, and sustained resources. This biennial report tells the story of the progress made to date and the challenges ahead.

1998 Puget Sound Update report cover page
7/17/2015

1998 Puget Sound Update

This is the sixth Puget Sound Update, a report for residents of the region about the overall health of Puget Sound. The conclusions in the Update are based mainly on scientific results of the Puget Sound Ambient Monitoring Program (PSAMP).

2007 Puget Sound Update report cover page
7/13/2015

2007 Puget Sound Update

The Puget Sound Update is a technical report that integrates results of PSAMP and other scientific activities in Puget Sound focused on marine life and nearshore habitat, marine and freshwater quality, and toxic contamination.

Puget Sound's Health 2000 report cover page
7/10/2015

Puget Sound's Health 2000

This is the Puget Sound Water Quality Action Team’s second report on key indicators of Puget Sound’s health. This report has been prepared in response to the Washington State Legislature’s request to evaluate efforts to protect Puget Sound. This second report includes updated information on the 12 indicators originally presented in 1998 as well as information on five new indicators.

Puget Sound's Health 2002 report cover page
7/7/2015

Puget Sound's Health 2002

This is the Puget Sound Water Quality Action Team's third report on key indicators of Puget Sound's Health. We prepared the report in response to the Washington State Legislature's request to evaluate efforts to protect Puget Sound. The report includes updated information on the 17 indicators presented in 2000 as well as information on two new indicators.

6/29/2015

Monitoring for adaptive management: status and trends of aquatic and riparian habitats in the Lake Washington/Cedar/Sammamish watershed (WRIA 8)

King County conducted physical and biological monitoring between 2010 and 2013 in the Lake Washington/Cedar/Sammamish (WRIA 8) watershed using common survey protocols and a probabilistic survey design. Hydrologic monitoring was also conducted at several locations to supplement physical and biological monitoring. 

Figure 1. Tufted puffin (photo by Peter Hodum).
6/22/2015

Tufted Puffin (Fratercula cirrhata)

This article was originally published by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of its status report on Tufted Puffins: Washington State Status Report for the Tufted Puffin (2015)

Report cover
5/7/2015

State of Washington status report for the tufted puffin

A 2015 report from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife reviews information relevant to the status of the tufted puffin in Washington and addresses factors affecting this status. 

Harbor porpoise. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service.
3/3/2015

Living in the fast lane: rapid development of the locomotor muscle in immature harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena)

A study in the Journal of Comparative Physiology shows that muscle development necessary for diving can take several years to mature in harbor porpoises. Scientists argue that this may make immature harbor porpoises more vulnerable than adults to impacts from boat traffic or other disturbances. 

Yelloweye rockfish. Photo by Brian Gratwicke; Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license: http://www.flickr.com/photos/19731486@N07/5624404677
2/23/2015

Using stakeholder engagement to inform endangered species management and improve conservation

A 2015 paper in the journal Marine Policy examines surveys of Puget Sound anglers to provide baseline information related to rockfish conservation. 

18-year-old L92 Crewser male resident orca, born 1995, and kayaker. Photo: Andrew Reding (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/seaotter/9259744196/
1/21/2015

Stimulus-dependent response to disturbance affecting the activity of killer whales

A 2015 paper presented to the International Whaling Commission compares the impacts of kayaks and powerboats on killer whale populations.

Harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena). Photo courtesy of National Park Service.
1/7/2015

Population structure and intergeneric hybridization in harbour porpoises Phocoena phocoena in British Columbia, Canada

A 2014 paper in Endangered Species Research suggests that harbour porpoises inhabiting coastal waters of southern British Columbia constitute a single genetic population, which should be reflected in management decisions.

Report cover photo.
1/7/2015

Shellfish restoration and protection in Kitsap Public Health District

A 2014 report by the Kitsap Public Heath District describes the goals and achievements of the Shellfish Restoration and Protection Project including: increasing harvestable shellfish growing areas, establishing a routine shoreline monitoring program, improving water quality, and increasing education of water quality and shellfish protection.

Report cover.
12/14/2014

Reestablishing Olympia oyster populations in Puget Sound, Washington

A 2005 report from the Washington Sea Grant Program describing the history and current state of native Olympia oysters including their ecology, history with human interactions, prefered habitat, and reestablishment efforts in the Puget Sound region.

Olympia oysters. Photo: VIUDeepBay (CC BY 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/viucsr/5778358466
12/11/2014

Gifts from the sea: shellfish as an ecosystem service

The shellfish industry is a cornerstone of the Puget Sound economy, but the region's famed mollusks provide more than just money and jobs. They offer what are called ecosystem services—a wide variety of benefits that humans derive from an ecosystem.

Report cover.
12/10/2014

Native shellfish in nearshore ecosystems of Puget Sound

This 2006 technical report for the Puget Sound Nearshore Partnership describes how shellfish have high ecological, economical, cultural, recreational value, however human activity is threatening their existence by altering their native habitat with changes in land use, shoreline modifications, stormwater, sewage and industrial discharge.

Closeup of herring spawn on kelp. Photo credit: Tessa Francis
11/7/2014

Habitat limitation and spatial variation in Pacific herring egg survival

Puget Sound herring reproduction is not limited by the amount of suitable spawning vegetation, according to a November 2014 paper in the journal Marine Ecology. The article points to terrestrial or marine variables as likely determinants of egg loss.

Southern resident orcas. Photo: NOAA http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/cetaceans/killerwhale_photos.htm
10/28/2014

Seeking higher calories for Puget Sound killer whales

A 2014 paper decribes how monitoring the energy density of key Pacific salmon species could affect the recovery of northern and southern killer whales through fisheries management.

report cover photo
10/24/2014

Monitoring and adaptive management of the Nisqually Delta after tidal marsh restoration: Restoring ecosystem function for salmon

This 2009 report by the Nisqually Tribe establishes key measures of restoration development, habitat processes, and Chinook salmon response for the largest delta restoration project in the Pacific Northwest.

Birds that dive and forage for fish in the Salish Sea, including this western grebe, are 11 times more likely to experience population declines than other birds in the area, a UC Davis study found. Photo courtesy of UC Davis. All rights reserved.
10/16/2014

Assessing ecological correlates of marine bird declines to inform marine conservation

Birds that dive for fish while wintering in the Salish Sea are more likely to be in decline than nondiving birds with less specialized diets, according to a 2014 study led by the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, Davis. The study, published in the journal Conservation Biology proposes that long-term changes in the availability of forage fish are pushing the declines.

Nisqually Reserve Fish Sampling March 2012. Photo: Michael Grilliot, DNR (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/wastatednr/6834386824
9/9/2014

No salmon left behind: The importance of early growth and freshwater restoration

The growth and survival of young salmon in streams, river deltas and floodplains are seen as crucial pieces of the salmon recovery puzzle. In part two of this two-part series, researchers at the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference in Seattle say the complexities of the salmon life cycle require new coordination among scientists.

Chinook Salmon (juvenile) Photo Credit: Roger Tabor/USFWS. https://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwspacific/6093338474
8/28/2014

What is killing young salmon in Puget Sound?

Scientists say Puget Sound’s salmon are dying young and point to low growth rates in the marine environment as a possible cause. In part one of this two-part series, scientists consider threats facing young salmon in the open waters of Puget Sound.

Western grebe. Public Pier, Blaine, WA. Photo: Andrew Reding https://www.flickr.com/photos/seaotter/10298390254
7/22/2014

Declines in marine birds trouble scientists

Why did all the grebes leave? Where did they go? And what does their disappearance say about the health of the Salish Sea? Seasonal declines among some regional bird species could hold important clues to the overall health of the ecosystem.

Pigeon Guillemots at Zangle Cove. Photo by Bobbie Moody.
7/17/2014

Pigeon Guillemot Foraging and Breeding Survey in and Near the Nisqually Reach Aquatic Reserve

A 2014 report describes a research and monitoring study of Pigeon Guillemot conducted in and near the Nisqually Reach Aquatic Reserve. 

The Canary Rockfish is one of the 119 species listed in a new paper from the SeaDoc Society as "at risk." Photo by Tippy Jackson, courtesy of NOAA.
5/22/2014

Species of Concern within the Salish Sea nearly double between 2002 and 2013

Approximately every two years, the SeaDoc Society prepares a list of species of concern within the Salish Sea ecosystem. The following paper found 119 species at risk and was presented as part of the proceedings of the 2014 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference, April 30 – May 2, 2014, Seattle, Washington. 

4/1/2014

Statement on Salish Sea Harbor Porpoise Research and Management Needs

Harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) are one of the most frequently sighted cetaceans in the Salish Sea. Anecdotal information, possibly supported with stranding encounter rate data, suggests that harbor porpoise may have increased in Puget Sound, or have shifted their distribution back to Puget Sound relative to earlier decades.

Harbour porpoise stranded due to bycattch. Source: Jan Haelters
4/1/2014

Harbor Porpoise (Phocoena phocoena vomerina): Washington inland waters stock

Harbor porpoises were once common in Puget Sound, but had all but disappeared from local waters by the 1970s. Regular and numerous anecdotal sightings in recent years show that populations of these cetaceans are now increasing and may be approaching their former status. The attached document from NOAA Fisheries describes harbor porpoise numbers and their geographic range in Puget Sound as of 2011. 

HARBOR PORPOISE (Phocoena phocoena vomerina): Washington Inland Waters Stock (NOAA Fisheries 2011)

Chinook salmon. Image courtesy of NOAA.
2/5/2014

Lead Entities for salmon recovery in Puget Sound

Lead Entities are local organizations in Puget Sound that develop salmon recovery strategies and priorities for the region on a watershed-based scale.

Black Scoter (Melanitta nigra). Photo by Dave Menke, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
1/28/2014

Marine and terrestrial bird indicators for Puget Sound

A December 2013 report identifies marine and terrestrial bird species for use as indicators within the Puget Sound Partnership's "Vital Signs" for ecosystem health. 

Killer whales and boat in Puget Sound. Photo courtesy of NOAA.
1/12/2014

NOAA's draft guidance for assessing the effects of anthropogenic sounds on marine mammals

In December 2013 NOAA released what it classifies as a "Highly Influential Scientific Assessment" of the effects of anthropogenic sound on marine mammals. The comment period on the draft assessment extends until March 13, 2014. 

Ribbon seal sighted on January 11th, 2012 a dock on the Duwamish River, Seattle, Washington (credit Matt Cleland)
12/19/2013

Ribbon seals in the Salish Sea?

Can Puget Sound claim a new species? Ribbon seals were not previously thought to venture into the Salish Sea, but a series of sightings in Puget Sound in 2012 expands their potential range. Scientists are keeping an eye out for future sightings. 

Gray whale (photo by Chris Johnson).
11/13/2013

Gray Whale (Eschrichtius robustus)

This article was originally published by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of its annual report Threatened and Endangered Wildlife in Washington.

Common sharp-tailed snake (photo by Bill Leonard).
11/10/2013

Common Sharp-tailed Snake (Contia tenuis)

This article was originally published by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of its annual report Threatened and Endangered Wildlife in Washington.

Oregon Vesper Sparrow (photo by Rod Gilbert).
11/10/2013

Oregon Vesper Sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus affinis)

This article was originally published by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of its annual report Threatened and Endangered Wildlife in Washington.

. Slender-billed white-breasted nuthatch (photo by Rod Gilbert).
11/10/2013

Slender-billed White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis aculeata)

This article was originally published by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of its annual report Threatened and Endangered Wildlife in Washington.

Loggerhead Shrike in Grant County, Washington (photo by Joe Higbee).
11/10/2013

Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus)

This article was originally published by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of its annual report Threatened and Endangered Wildlife in Washington.

 

Black-backed woodpecker (photo by Joe Higbee).
11/10/2013

Black-backed Woodpecker (Picoides arcticus)

This article was originally published by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of its annual report Threatened and Endangered Wildlife in Washington.

Male white-headed woodpecker in Yakima County (photo by Joe Higbee).
11/10/2013

White-headed Woodpecker (Picoides albolarvatus)

This article was originally published by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of its annual report Threatened and Endangered Wildlife in Washington.

Vaux’s swift (photo by Curt Young).
11/10/2013

Vaux's Swift (Chaetura vauxi)

This article was originally published by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of its annual report Threatened and Endangered Wildlife in Washington.

Flammulated owl (photo from Greg Lasley, USGS).
11/8/2013

Flammulated Owl (Otus flammeolus)

This article was originally published by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of its annual report Threatened and Endangered Wildlife in Washington.

Figure 1. Yellow-billed cuckoo (© David Speiser, www.lilibirds.com).
11/8/2013

Yellow-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus)

This article was originally published by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of its annual report Threatened and Endangered Wildlife in Washington.

Bald eagle at Blue Lake, Sinlahekin WLA (photo by Justin Haug).
11/8/2013

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)

This article was originally published by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of its annual report Threatened and Endangered Wildlife in Washington.

2013 State of the Sound report cover
11/1/2013

2013 State of the Sound

The 2013 State of the Sound is the Puget Sound Partnership’s third report to the Legislature on progress toward the recovery of Puget Sound by 2020. The document reports on both the status of the Partnership's recovery efforts and the status of a suite of ecosystem indicators.

Littorina subrotundata. Photo by L. Schroeder.
10/23/2013

Newcomb's Littorine Snail (Littorina subrotundata)

This article was originally published by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of its annual report Threatened and Endangered Wildlife in Washington.

Island marble perched on the host, field mustard (Brassica campestris). Photo by Thor Hansen.
10/23/2013

Island Marble (Euchloe ausonides insulanus)

This article was originally published by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of its annual report Threatened and Endangered Wildlife in Washington.

Olympic mudminnow. Photo by Roger Tabor, USFWS.
10/23/2013

Olympic Mudminnow (Novumbra hubbsi)

This article was originally published by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of its annual report Threatened and Endangered Wildlife in Washington.

Peregrine falcon. Photo by Brian Caven.
10/23/2013

Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)

This article was originally published by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of its annual report Threatened and Endangered Wildlife in Washington

Taylor's checkerspot. Photo by D. Stinson.
10/22/2013

Taylor's Checkerspot (Euphydryas editha taylori)

This article was originally published by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of its annual report Threatened and Endangered Wildlife in Washington.

Streaked horned lark. Photo by Rod Gilbert.
10/22/2013

Streaked Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris strigata)

This article was originally published by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of its annual report Threatened and Endangered Wildlife in Washington.

Northern spotted owl in the Olympic Mountains. Photo by Rod Gilbert.
10/22/2013

Northern Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis caurina)

This article was originally published by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of its annual report Threatened and Endangered Wildlife in Washington.

Mardon skipper. Photo by Rod Gilbert.
10/16/2013

Mardon Skipper (Polites mardon)

This article was originally published by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of its annual report Threatened and Endangered Wildlife in Washington.

Male and female Steller sea lions. Photo by Andrew Trites.
10/16/2013

Steller Sea Lion (Eumetopias jubatus)

This article was originally published by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of its annual report Threatened and Endangered Wildlife in Washington.

Photo courtesy University of Washington Center for Conservation Biology; conservationbiology.net
10/16/2013

Potential effects of the interaction between marine mammals and tidal turbines – an engineering and biomechanical analysis

A paper presented at the European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference in Aalborg, Denmark describes the potential effects of a tidal turbine strike on an endangered Southern Resident Killer Whale in Puget Sound (SRKW). A tidal turbine is proposed for deployment in Admiralty Inlet in Island County. 

10/15/2013

Reports: Steller Sea Lion status reports

This page includes documents and links related to the status of Steller Sea Lion in Washington state and the Salish Sea region. 

Figure 1. Map of study area. Map depicts the four receiver arrays: Hood Canal Bridge (HCB), Mid Canal (MCL), Admiralty Inlet (ADM), and Strait of Juan de Fuca (JDF). Lower insets show single receiver locations for each year.
9/17/2013

Paper: A floating bridge disrupts seaward migration and increases mortality of Steelhead smolts in Hood Canal, Washington State

A new study provides strong evidence of substantial migration interference and increased mortality risk associated with the Hood Canal Bridge for aquatic animals, and may partially explain low early marine survival rates observed in Hood Canal steelhead populations.

Canary rockfish. Photo by Tippy Jackson, courtesy of NOAA.
8/13/2013

Proposed designation of critical habitat for the distinct population segments of Yelloweye Rockfish, Canary Rockfish, and Bocaccio

The National Marine Fisheries Service has released a Draft Biological Report proposing designation of critical habitat for yelloweye rockfish, canary rockfish, and bocaccio in the Salish Sea. Download the full report and supporting data.

A "spy hopping" Southern Resident killer whale in the San Juan Islands. Image courtesy of NOAA.
7/30/2013

Report: Potential effects of PBDEs on Puget Sound and Southern Resident Killer Whales

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 10 and the National Marine Fisheries Service Northwest Region have released a report describing results from a series of technical workgroups about the potential effects of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) on Puget Sound and Southern Resident killer whales.

Screenshot of 2013 Health of the Salish Sea Ecosystem Report
7/19/2013

Report: 2013 Health of the Salish Sea Ecosystem Report

The 2013 Health of the Salish Sea Ecosystem Report was prepared jointly by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Environment Canada. View the complete report, or read the Executive Summary below.

 

Closeup of herring spawn on kelp.
6/27/2013

Field notes: Are Puget Sound herring limited by loss of eelgrass?

Could recent declines in Puget Sound herring be linked to decreases in native eelgrass? Biologist Tessa Francis reports on a new study that may provide insight into the health of one of the region's most iconic forage fish.

Western Grebe; image by mikebaird, courtesy of Encyclopedia of Life
6/26/2013

Paper: Citizen science reveals an extensive shift in the winter distribution of migratory Western Grebes

A June 19, 2013 paper in the journal PLoS ONE hypothesizes that regional declines in Western Grebe populations may be related to decreasing numbers of forage fish. Using citizen science data from 36 years of bird counts, researchers were able to look at population trends up and down the entire West Coast, finding that abundance of grebes decreased in the Salish Sea but increased in southern California. North American population declined by 52% overall.

Orca whale in Puget Sound. Image courtesy of NOAA.
6/20/2013

Paper: Spatial and temporal analysis of killer whale (Orcinus orca) strandings in the North Pacific Ocean and the benefits of a coordinated stranding response protocol

A new paper by Puget Sound area scientists from the SeaDoc Society and their collaborators represents the most complete summary to date of killer whale (Orcinus orca) strandings in the North Pacific. The authors analyzed stranding records dating back to 1925, obtained from scientists worldwide, finding that very few whales are stranded (an average of ten a year over the last twenty years). However, most of those strandings result in death. Only 12% of stranded whales survive.

Photograph of sediment-covered rocks in the lower Elwha River just upstream of the river mouth at the Strait of Juan de Fuca (June 20, 2012, Chris Magirl).
6/12/2013

Suspended-sediment concentrations during dam decommissioning in the Elwha River, Washington

This document was prepared by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Park Service. Download the entire report, or read the Introduction below. Portions of this document were originally published in June 2013 and were updated in February 2014. 

 
 
Greater scaup (Aythya marila). Photo by Donna Dewhurst, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
5/23/2013

Paper: The incidental catch of seabirds in gillnet fisheries— A global review

Seabird populations are declining worldwide. This paper looks at the impact of gillnets on bird populations.

Killer whale (Orcinus orca). Photo by Joseph Gaydos.
5/23/2013

Report: Washington State status report for the Killer Whale

This 2004 report looks at the status of Washington's four killer whale populations.

Fringed Myotis. Photo © Merlin D. Tuttle, Bat Conservation International, www.batcon.org
5/18/2013

Report: Washington State Bat Conservation Plan

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife recently released a Bat Conservation Plan for the 15 species of bats found in Washington State. All but four of these species occur within the greater Puget Sound watershed1, including:

Drawing of Ocean Phase Chinook (king) salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)
5/1/2013

NOAA report establishes Chinook monitoring framework

A new Chinook monitoring framework is designed to build cooperation among managers and policymakers working across the Puget Sound watershed. The report, prepared by an independent team of scientists and released by NOAA, includes a regionally specific, common classification system for Chinook habitats and key ecological attributes. 

School of juvenile chinook/king salmon. Photo: USFWS/Togiak National Wildlife Refuge (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/usfws_alaska/6479109041/
3/23/2013

Juvenile Pacific Salmon in Puget Sound

This technical report produced for the Puget Sound Nearshore Partnership on Valued Ecosystem Components (VEC) summarizes existing knowledge of salmon use of nearshore habitats in order to help protect and restore these habitats.

Olympia oysters in Washington. Photo courtesy of NOAA.
3/23/2013

Native shellfish in nearshore ecosystems of Puget Sound

This is the executive summary from a technical report produced for the Puget Sound Nearshore Partnership on Valued Ecosystem Components (VEC). The entire document is included as a PDF with this summary.

Wolverine (Gulo gulo). Photo: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
3/18/2013

Wolverine (Gulo gulo)

This article was originally published by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of its annual report Threatened and Endangered Wildlife in Washington.

Figure 1. Olympic marmot. Photo by Rod Gilbert.
3/18/2013

Olympic Marmot (Marmota olympus)

This article was originally published by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of its annual report Threatened and Endangered Wildlife in Washington.

Keen's myotis. Photo by Bat Conservation International.
3/18/2013

Keen's Myotis (Myotis keenii)

This article was originally published by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of its annual report Threatened and Endangered Wildlife in Washington.

Townsend's big-eared bat. Photo by Bat Conservation International.
3/18/2013

Townsend's Big-eared Bat (Corynorhinus townsendii)

This article was originally published by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of its annual report Threatened and Endangered Wildlife in Washington.

Golden eagle. Photo by Jim Watson.
3/16/2013

Golden Eagle (Aquila chryseatos)

This article was originally published by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of its annual report Threatened and Endangered Wildlife in Washington.

Clark’s grebe, left, is similar to the western grebe, right, but has white around the eye and a brighter yellow bill (photos by Joe Higbee).
3/16/2013

Western and Clark's Grebes (Aechmophorus occidentalis and A. clarkia)

This article was originally published by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of its annual report Threatened and Endangered Wildlife in Washington.

 

Figure 1. Adult female western pond turtle with an attached radio transmitter and identifying number for population monitoring. Photo by Melissa Reitz.
3/16/2013

Western Pond Turtle (Actinemys marmorata, formerly Clemmys marmorata)

This article was originally published by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of its annual report Threatened and Endangered Wildlife in Washington.

Western gray squirrel. Photo by Joseph V. Higbee.
3/16/2013

Western Gray Squirrel (Sciurus griseus)

This article was originally published by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of its annual report Threatened and Endangered Wildlife in Washington.

Upland sandpiper. Photo courtesy of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
3/14/2013

Upland Sandpiper (Bartramia longicauda)

This article was originally published by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of its annual report Threatened and Endangered Wildlife in Washington.

Figure 1. Sea otter (photo by USFWS).
3/14/2013

Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris)

This article was originally published by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of its annual report Threatened and Endangered Wildlife in Washington.

 

 

Sandhill Crane. Photo by Joseph V. Higbee.
3/14/2013

Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis)

This article was originally published by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of its annual report Threatened and Endangered Wildlife in Washington.

Figure 1. Mazama pocket gopher. Photo by Bill Leonard.
3/14/2013

Mazama Pocket Gopher (Thomomys mazama)

This article was originally published by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of its annual report Threatened and Endangered Wildlife in Washington.

Adult marbled murrelet in breeding plumage. Pacific Southwest Research Station, U.S. Forest Service.
3/14/2013

Marbled Murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus)

This article was originally published by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of its annual report Threatened and Endangered Wildlife in Washington.

Larch mountain salamander. Photo courtesy of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
3/14/2013

Larch Mountain Salamander (Plethodon larselli)

This article was originally published by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of its annual report Threatened and Endangered Wildlife in Washington.

Grizzly bear. Photo courtesy of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
3/14/2013

Grizzly Bear (Ursus arctos horribilis)

This article was originally published by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of its annual report Threatened and Endangered Wildlife in Washington.

 

Members of the Teanaway pack, April 2011. Photo by U.S. Forest Service
3/14/2013

Gray Wolf (Canis lupus)

This article was originally published by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of its annual report Threatened and Endangered Wildlife in Washington.

 

Fisher released on the Olympic Peninsula. Photo by Jessica Hoffman.
3/14/2013

Fisher (Pekania pennanti)

This article was originally published by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of its annual report Threatened and Endangered Wildlife in Washington.

Adult male common loon and chick on North Twin Lake, Ferry County, Washington. Photo by Dan Poleschook.
3/14/2013

Common Loon (Gavia immer)

This article was originally published by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of its annual report Threatened and Endangered Wildlife in Washington.

Brown pelican. Photo by D. Stinson.
3/13/2013

Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis)

This article was originally published by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of its annual report Threatened and Endangered Wildlife in Washington.

American White Pelican, Grant County. Photo by Joe Higbee.
3/13/2013

American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)

This article was originally published by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of its annual report Threatened and Endangered Wildlife in Washington.

 

Female Oregon spotted frog (Rana pretiosa). Photo by Kelly McAllister.
3/9/2013

Oregon Spotted Frog (Rana pretiosa)

This article was originally published by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of its annual report Threatened and Endangered Wildlife in Washington.

Northern Sea Otter. Photo: Alaska Department of Fish and Game
3/1/2013

Species of concern in the Salish Sea

The Encyclopedia of Puget Sound species library now includes a list of species of concern in the Salish Sea watershed. The list was created by Joe Gaydos and Nicholas Brown of the SeaDoc Society, and was released as a paper presented as part of the Proceedings of the 2011 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference in Vancouver, BC.