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600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

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August 25, 2017
Contact: Hannah Anderson (360) 902-8403

WDFW seeks input on draft status review
for the Columbian sharp-tailed grouse

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is taking public comments on its recommendation to keep the Columbian sharp-tailed grouse on the state's threatened species list. 

The department periodically reviews the status of protected species in the state. The public can comment through Nov. 25, 2017, on the listing recommendation and recently updated status report for the Columbian sharp-tailed grouse.

The draft review on the Columbian sharp-tailed grouse is available online at

WDFW staff members are tentatively scheduled to discuss the review and recommendation with the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission at its Dec. 8, 2017 meeting. The commission is a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for WDFW. For meeting dates and times, check the commission webpage at

In the 1800s, the Columbian sharp-tailed grouse was the most abundant game bird in eastern Washington. Historically, the highest densities of sharp-tailed grouse were in relatively moist grassland and shrub-steppe vegetation. The species is now restricted to parts of Douglas, Okanogan, and Lincoln counties, and the Colville Reservation. The 2017 state-wide population estimate, which is based on lek counts, was 564 birds. 

The sharp-tailed grouse was listed as a threatened species in Washington in 1998. The remaining populations of sharp-tailed grouse in Washington are small, relatively isolated from one another, and may not persist unless they increase in size. Recovery of this species will require making improvements to grouse habitat, and expanding and connecting sections of habitat. WDFW continues its habitat restoration work as well as efforts to augment the state's grouse population.

Written comments on the review and recommendation can be submitted via email to or by mail to Hannah Anderson, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, P.O. Box 43141, Olympia, WA 98504-3200.

Forty-three species of fish and wildlife are listed for protection as state endangered, threatened or sensitive species.