Species & Habitats

Wildlife in Washington face a wide range of threats, from disease and invasive species to declining habitat and climate change. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is dedicated to conserving and protecting the state's wildlife -- including endangered and other at-risk species -- from these threats. Learn about the work we're doing to protect Washington habitats and what to do if you encounter an orphaned or problematic animal.

Bighorn sheep in the snow at Chelan Butte Wildlife Area

In this section

Looking to learn more about a specific fish or wildlife species in Washington? Start here.
Learn about the variety of ecosystems found in Washington that provide habitat for fish and wildlife.
Living in Washington means living with wildlife. Whether you've found a baby bird out of the nest or are dealing with deer damaging your backyard, WDFW is here to help when you cross paths with the state's diverse wildlife.
WDFW is responsible for managing endangered, threatened, and otherwise at-risk species in the state.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is hard at work helping protect and conserve fish and wildlife habitats in the state.
If you work or play in Washington’s many waterways, you may be unknowingly spreading invasive species destructive to our state’s environment and economy.
From elk hoof disease to white-nose syndrome in bats, WDFW tracks and responds to reports of disease affecting wildlife in our state.

Washington is home to a variety of amphibians (salamanders, frogs, and toads) and reptiles (turtles, lizards, and snakes).

The Toxics Biological Observation System (TBiOS) team monitors and tracks toxic contaminants in Puget Sound and on Washington's Pacific coast.
Wildlife can be found anywhere in the state of Washington. From backyard chickadees to the orcas of the Salish Sea, there is a spectacular array of wildlife to witness.

Species news & important dates

Cascade red fox runs through snow
WDFW seeks comment on rule making for Columbian white-tailed deer and Cascade red fox

WDFW is seeking public input on rule making for Columbian white-tailed deer and Cascade red fox until Jan. 24, 2023.

A rough-legged hawk flying
Avian influenza presentation

WDFW veterinarian Katie Haman talks about many facets of avian influenza and the current outbreak in Washington in this recent presentation to a local birding group.

Conservation starts here

People doing work in a pond
Washington's waterfowl habitat improvement projects showing great results

Washington’s wetland areas for waterfowl, and waterfowl hunting, are improving, thanks in part to hunters.

Leque Island after estuary restoration
Net Ecological Gain report highlights need for bold conservation policy

Report to the Legislature now available

An image of five big horn sheep
Adopting a new rule to protect bighorn sheep

The adopted rule prohibits visitors from bringing domestic sheep or goats onto WDFW-managed wildlife area units where bighorn sheep may be located.

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