Oregon Species Among Top 10 Targeted for Recovery
PORTLAND, Ore. – Conservationists are highlighting 10 endangered species that the conservationists say deserve attention from the coming Trump administration – and three of them are in Oregon.
In the Endangered Species Coalition report "Removing the Walls of Recovery," one of the species identified is the gray wolf, which is making a slow recovery in the Northwest.
The report points to humans as the animal's greatest threat.
Lia Cheek, national campaign director with the Endangered Species Coalition, says the species is largely misunderstood.
"There's a lot of opposition and confusion about who wolves are as a species,” she states. “They have a bad reputation, they think of them as killers, but in fact they're really important to the environment."
Cheek says as apex predators, wolves help maintain population levels of species they prey on. They provide an economic benefit to humans in the form of tourism as well.
The list also includes the Snake River salmon and greater sage grouse.
Cheek says salmon are important sources of food for orcas, but are threatened by four dams on the lower Snake River.
Sage grouse are at the center of a massive conservation effort of the sagebrush sea in the West.
Cheek hopes the report can spur the next administration to prioritize protecting these species.
"Endangered species are really going to be facing a lot of challenges in the coming years because of climate change, because of increasing populations and because of changes in the political landscape so it will be really important for everybody to stay supportive and protective of the resources that we have in these species," she stresses.
The other seven species named in the report are the bald cypress, the Elkhorn coral, the Joshua tree, a yellow-faced bee from Hawaii, the jaguar, the African elephant and the vaquita, a small Mexican porpoise.