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Washington Wildlife

WDFW begins status reviews, seeks information on 17 wildlife species

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking updated information about 17 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, 2016, on the 17 species, which include the bald eagle, Columbian sharp-tailed grouse and Mazama pocket gopher. 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 any species, said Penny Becker, acting manager for WDFW’s diversity division.

"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 as they are completed. Additional public comment would be sought if WDFW proposes to change a species' status after concluding its review.

Over the last year, WDFW has accepted comments on 15 other species, including gray wolves, spotted owls and killer whales. Updated status reports on those species will be posted online as they are completed.

The public will be invited to comment on several more endangered, threatened or sensitive species in the coming years as WDFW conducts reviews.


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