For more information on the Priority Habitats and Species program, please contact the WDFW Habitat Program.
Phone: 360-902-2534

Brown pelican PHS on the Web
An interactive map of WDFW priority habitats and species information for project review.
  Priority Habitats and Species List

Washington State
Priority Habitats and Species List

PHS Statewide List and Distribution by County

Priority Habitats and Species List

What is the PHS List?

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife publishes a Priority Habitats and Species (PHS) list. The PHS List is a catalog of habitats and species considered to be priorities for conservation and management.

Priority species require protective measures for their survival due to their population status, sensitivity to habitat alteration, and/or recreational, commercial, or tribal importance. Priority species include State Endangered, Threatened, Sensitive, and Candidate species; animal aggregations (e.g., heron colonies, bat colonies) considered vulnerable; and species of recreational, commercial, or tribal importance that are vulnerable.

Priority habitats are habitat types or elements with unique or significant value to a diverse assemblage of species. A priority habitat may consist of a unique vegetation type (e.g., shrub-steppe) or dominant plant species (e.g., juniper savannah), a described successional stage (e.g., old-growth forest), or a specific habitat feature (e.g., cliffs).

There are 20 habitat types, 152 vertebrate species, 41 invertebrate species, and 10 species groups currently in the PHS List. These constitute about 17% of Washington's approximately 1000 vertebrate species and a fraction of the state's invertebrate fauna.

Numerous individuals and groups use the PHS List as well as associated PHS products (e.g., PHS Data) to inform conservation-related activities. Typical users include cities and counties that use PHS to fulfill planning requirements under the Growth Management Act and Shoreline Management Act, non-profit organizations such as land trusts that use PHS information to prioritize habitat protection, community groups working on local biodiversity planning initiatives, as well as other state and federal government agencies.

To obtain PHS data and for answers to questions regarding priority habitats and species, please call (360) 902-2543 or e-mail the WDFW Habitat Program