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.


In this section

Looking to learn more about a specific fish or wildlife species in Washington? Start here.
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.
The Toxics Biological Observation System (TBiOS) team monitors and tracks toxic contaminants in Puget Sound and on Washington's Pacific coast.

Species news & important dates

Monarch butterfly
Documenting a decline of Washington's monarch population

Annual surveys of monarch butterflies show that populations continue to drop in Washington and other states, but there are some ways you can help.

WDFW biologist in protective gear prepares to collect bat guano (feces) samples from colony site in Chelan County.
Fungus that causes bat-killing disease confirmed in Chelan and Snohomish counties

White-nose syndrome is harmful to hibernating bats, but does not affect humans, livestock, or other wildlife. The disease is caused by the fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans, which attacks the skin of hibernating bats and damages their delicate wings, making it difficult to fly.

Conservation starts here

Tips for cougar encounters in Washington
Woodpecker perched on dead tree (snag)
Snags: The Wildlife Tree
Dozens of species depend on tree cavities for survival.
Pygmy rabbit
Shrubsteppe species spotlight
Washington's endangered pygmy rabbit population suffered great loss from recent wildfires.