This is a sampling of at-risk and endangered species in the Klamath-Siskiyou region. Click on the following critters and plants to learn more about their natural history and KS Wild's efforts to help protect them.
Green Sturgeon are among the largest and longest living species found in freshwater, living up to 70 years and weighing up to 350 pounds. They are truly a prehistoric creature, possessing a skeleton that is more cartilage than bone and rows of bony plates for protection rather than scales. Since the age of the dinosaurs, Green Sturgeon have roamed the inshore bays and major rivers of the West Coast, remaining almost entirely unchanged in their appearance for more than 200 million years.
In March 2000, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the Gentner's fritillary as "endangered" under the ESA, in response to a lawsuit filed by KS Wild and the Native Plant Society of Oregon. This species is a rare flowering plant with an extremely small range and is adversely affected by mining, cattle grazing and development activities in northern California.
The marbled murrelet, a small seabird which nests in the coastal, old-growth forests of the Pacific Northwest, was listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act in 1992. KS Wild has protected marbled murrelet habitat by stopping old-growth timber sales in the Chetco and Gold Beach Ranger Districts of the Siskiyou National Forest.
The Northern goshawk is legendary for its ferocity, beauty and amazing flight skills. In ancient Persia its was called Baz-Nama, the King Hawk, and in medieval Europe is was the most prozed of all falconry hawks. Unfortunately, as mature and old-growth forests become rarer and rare, so do goshawks. Numerous scientific studies show that goshawks are declining in heavily logged forests. Becasue the goshawk is a top-level predator, its decline contributes to the unraveling of forest ecosystems, stressing other forest-dependent species.
The Northern Spotted Owl is probably the most well-known owl species in America. This old-growth dependent species became the center of controversy in Pacific Northwest forest management in the early 1990s when it was listed under the Endangered Species Act. Since then, agencies have been issuing "take permits" to allow federal actions to result in the death of spotted owls. KS Wild has been challenging and litigating dozens of timber sales in the region that propose to log in spotted owl habitat.
In early winter 2000, KS Wild joined other West Coast conservation groups in petitioning the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list the Pacific fisher (Martes pennanti) under the Endangered Species Act. This species is reduced to two native populations-one in the Klamath-Siskiyous and another in the Sierra Nevadas.
KS Wild and ten other organizations petitioned the US Fish & Wildlife Service in January 2002 to list four species of lamprey as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Lampreys are ancient jawless fish that superficially resemble eels, but are not related. The four lamprey species petitioned for are the Pacific lamprey, river lamprey, western brook lamprey and Kern brook lamprey. All lamprey species' populations have been heavily impacted by water developments, poor agricultural and forestland management practices, and rapid urbanization of many watersheds. Click here to learn more about lamprey and our efforts to list them under the Endangered Species Act.
This small arboreal rodent lives in western Oregon between the Columbia and Smith Rivers. It is a primary food source for the Northern Spotted Owl. The red tree vole lives almost exclusively in the canopy of coniferous forests and requires old-growth habitat for its survival. This vole was on the Survey and Manage list until Survey and Manage was removed in March 2004.
In August 2001, KS Wild petitioned the USFWS to list the Siskiyou Mariposa Lily (Calochortus persistens) as "endangered" under the ESA. This species is threatened by the invasion of non-native species, radio tower road maintenance, ORV use, and fire suppression. Extensive studies have shown the listing of this species is needed to preserve this unique Klamath-Siskiyou flower.
In June 2004, KS Wild and a coalition of groups filed a petition with
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service requesting protection of the Siskiyou
Mountains Salamander as an endangered species under the Endangered Species
Act. The salamander was formerly protected under a provision of the
Northwest Forest Plan called the “Survey and Manage” Program, which required
the Forest Service and BLM to conduct surveys for the salamander and protect
its habitat. The Bush Administration eliminated the Survey and Manage
Program March 23, 2004.
In December 2000, KS Wild and a coalition of groups, led by the Center for Biological Diversity, filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for failing to list this wildlands-dependent forest carnivore. The wolverine (Gulo gulo) historically occupied much of the continental 48, but has been extirpated due to trapping, roadbuilding, logging and habitat fragmentation. There are recent, reliable sightings scattered in very remote areas of the south Cascades and the Klamath-Siskiyous. Populations of this species occur in low densities and need huge tracts of wilderness to meet survival requirements.
In March 2000, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the Yreka phlox as "endangered" under the ESA, in response to a lawsuit filed by KS Wild and the Native Plant Society of Oregon. This species is a rare flowering plant with an extremely small range and is adversely affected by mining, cattle grazing and development activities in northern California.