Tree Voles! Flying Squirrels! Birds Birds Birds! And Wolverine?
Whether furred, feathered, or finned, the array of wildlife in the Klamath-Siskiyou region is remarkable.
The forests, wildlands, and rivers of the Klamath-Siskiyou provide refuge for a remarkable variety of wildlife. Northern spotted owls still nest in our ancient forests. Pacific fishers still roam the vast backcountry. Salmon and steelhead still migrate down our wild rivers and return to mountain streams to spawn.
Tree-dwelling critters like the red tree vole and flying squirrel rarely touch the forest floor and rely on the habitat networks and corridors our landscapes provide. Researchers continue to scour the high country for the wolverine, a rare carnivore that is only known to inhabit the most remote areas of the west.
River otters frolic in the region’s many rivers, and black bears find solace in the vast open spaces. Some lucky hikers might catch a glimpse of seldom-seen species like a pine marten or Pacific fisher who prefer to hide out deep in old-growth forests.
The wide variety of forests in the Klamath-Siskiyou offer a home to many 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. Rare and elusive species like the coastal marbled murrelet that nest in large trees near the beach or the highly maneuverable northern goshawk can still be found here. A fantastic display of neotropical migrant birds also find a home in the wilds of southern Oregon and northern California.
Source Habitat and the Siskiyou Crest
Many imperiled wildlife species rely upon large blocks of intact forest to provide habitat and sustenance necessary to thrive and reproduce. These large blocks of habitat often provide a “source habitat” for wildlife contributing to population stability and recovery. Conservation efforts in the KS have protected large wildlife habitat hotspots associated with the Kalmiopsis, Marble Mountains, Siskiyou Crest, Trinity Alps, and the Cascade Range.
The east-west ridgeline of the Siskiyou Crest Mountains provides a vitally important wildlife corridor, linking the Cascades and the Coast Ranges and increasing the wildlife diversity in the area. Indeed, the Siskiyou Crest allows genetic flow between the large wildlands of the region and provides for mobility and habitat niches in the face of climate change.
By protecting the ecosystems on which they depend, we can safeguard fish and wildlife.
Serious threats which must be addressed if the biological diversity of the region is to remain intact. Logging and road building activities pose a major threat to salmon and steelhead habitat in the tributaries that feed the five main rivers. International mining interests have plans to build destructive the headwaters of our most pristine salmon-bearing streams in the Pacific Northwest – the Wild and Scenic Smith and Illinois Rivers.
By preventing the logging of our old-growth forests we are protecting many species, but especially sensitive, at-risk species such as the Northern Goshawk, the marbled murrelet, Northern spotted owl, Pacific fisher, the red tree vole, green sturgeon, and Coho salmon.
KS Wild also collaborates with our conservation allies to petition the US Fish and Wildlife service to list at-risk species as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. These include the Siskiyou Mountain Salamander, Pacific Fisher, Wolverine, and Lamprey.