OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking updated information about 15 wildlife species as part of a review of native wildlife populations listed by the state as endangered, threatened or sensitive.
WDFW will accept public comments through Feb. 11, 2015, on the 15 species, which include the spotted owl, greater sage grouse and killer whale. A full list of the species is available on WDFW's website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/endangered/status_review/.
The comment period is part of a process to update status reports for each species and determine whether the species warrants its current listing or deserves to be reclassified or delisted.
WDFW is specifically looking for information on:
- Species demographics
- Habitat conditions
- Threats and trends
- Conservation measures that have benefited the species
- New data collected since the last status review for the species
Public input is an essential part of gathering the best available scientific data for a species, said Penny Becker, WDFW listing and recovery section manager.
"We are interested in obtaining information from the public, including non-governmental groups, universities, private researchers and naturalists," Becker said. "Such groups and individuals could have valuable data, such as annual population counts or privately developed habitat management plans."
Written information may be submitted through WDFW's website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/endangered/status_review/comments.html, via email to TandEpubliccom@dfw.wa.gov, or by mail to Penny Becker, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia, WA 98501-1091.
Updated status reports will be posted on the department's website beginning next spring. Additional public comment would be sought if WDFW proposes to change a species' status after concluding its review.
The public will be invited to comment on 30 other endangered, threatened or sensitive species over the next few years as WDFW conducts reviews.