It is hard to understate the richness of life in the Klamath-Siskiyous. Whether furred, feathered or finned, the array of species in the region is remarkable.
Due to the large network of relatively intact public land, the Klamath-Siskiyou region is a stronghold for salmon and wildlife species that are too often struggling in other parts of the west. Add in a unique geological history that gives rise to some of the most diverse plant life on earth, and one can begin to appreciate the ecological importance of the Klamath-Siskiyou.
Wild salmon are iconic denizens of the Pacific Northwest, but they have been in decline for decades. In the Klamath-Siskiyou river basins, salmon still spawn after a long journey home from the ocean to their natal streams. Species like the green sturgeon and Pacific lamprey also migrate to carry out their life cycles. Along with these ocean going fish, resident trout and other aquatic organisms find a home in many lakes and streams.Click here for our Imperiled Species Profiles
The region has healthy populations of bears and mountain lions and countless other furry critters. The elusive Pacific fisher, driven out of the rest of the Pacific Northwest, continues to roam through dark forests. Tree-dwelling rodents, like the red tree vole and flying squirrel rarely touch the forest floor. While sightings are rare, researchers continue to scour the high country for the wolverine, a fierce carnivore that is only known to inhabit the most remote areas of the west.
The varied habitats in the Klamath-Siskiyou offer many niches for our feathered friends. Spotted owls, which are in decline range-wide, are producing young owlets at a greater rate in the Klamath-Siskiyous than elsewhere in their range. Fascinating species, like the coastal marbled murrelet that nests in large trees near the beach or the highly maneuverable goshawk can still be found here. A fantastic display of neotropical migrants also find a home in the wilds of southern Oregon and northern California.
If there is any one family of life that puts the Klamath-Siskiyou over the charts of biological diversity, it is the plants. There are more species of conifer trees than any other region in North America. There are hundreds of plants that occur here but nowhere else on the planet. From insect-eating cobra lilies to rare trees that are nowhere else, the Klamath-Siskiyou is a haven for plants.
Scientists acknowledge this region as a global center of biodiversity and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Area has labeled it an Area of Global Botanical Significance. The Klamath-Siskiyou region is a refuge for wild nature.