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.

mountain goat

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.

Species news & important dates

Buttons the Elk standing in some grass
One year later with Buttons the Elk

Last year, a partially-tamed elk named Buttons was discovered in Cle Elum. She was rehomed to the Woodland Park Zoo and is doing great. However, Buttons is a special case. Not all animals are so lucky! Help us keep #KeepWildlifeWild by not feeding wild animals.  

black bear
Meet Washington's conflict specialists

WDFW employs conflict specialists in each region to help Washingtonian’s with negative human-wildlife interactions. These interactions are sometimes as simple as raccoons in trash cans but are often more complex — like a baby black bear eating neighborhood chickens.

Conservation starts here

Cougar territoriality
Excavator works on restoration project
Restoring fish passage
When fish cannot spawn upstream or reach traditional rearing areas, populations decrease and may not survive locally.
Mule deer forage in shrubsteppe habitat
Shrubsteppe spotlight
WDFW worked with Forterra and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to buy 4,486 acres of land near Yakima to benefit wildlife and people.