Tags: Gun Control | hunting in washington | animals | protected species

Hunting in Washington: 4 Animals Designated Nongame, Endangered, Threatened, and Protected Species

By    |   Tuesday, 09 June 2015 11:54 AM

The Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) maintains a species of concern list that details all wildlife species that are facing a threatened status.

As a result, hunting enthusiasts should avoid taking any of these nongame species while in the woods as they fall under endangered or protected status.

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1. Gray Wolves
The gray wolf was once nearing extinction in the state of Washington, but the WDFW is working to bring the wolf numbers back into a recovery range. As a result, the animal is protected from hunters.

Federal protection for wolves still applies to two-thirds of the state. The state wolf plan guides how the population will be dealt with now and in the future and hunting is not on the horizon.

2. Grizzly Bears
The grizzly bear was listed as a state protected species in 1980 and continues to be protected to this day.

The bear's population has been impacted by a number of factors, including human disturbance in habitat, such as housing developments and highway construction.

3. Pygmy Rabbits
Pygmy rabbits are considered to be one of the smallest rabbits in the continent. Although they have been present on the planet for thousands of years, their population continues to be threatened.

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As the ecological habitat of the state of Washington has changed, the pygmy rabbit has struggled to survive. Hunters should avoid disturbing or taking this rabbit should they encounter it in the woods. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service is monitoring the population status of the pygmy rabbit as well.

4. Columbian White-tailed Deer
The Columbian white-tailed deer, which can be distinguished from traditional or mule deer by its curved antlers and longer brain tail, is considered state protected. The deer is another species that is having a difficult time evolving as ecological changes take place.

Coyote have also taken their toll by preying on the population. The 2012 annual report of the WDFW reports there were less than 600 deer remaining in the state.

5. Lynx
Lynx are another creature that is suffering in numbers due to changes in their ecological habitat. This cat species, which is native to Washington, has less than 100 surviving.

Prior to 1991 lynx were hunted in abundance until it became clear the species was threatened. In 1993, the state began protecting lynx and it became a federally protected animal in 2000.

This article is for information only. Please check current regulations before hunting.

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The Washington Department of Fish Wildlife (WDFW) maintains a species of concern list that details all wildlife species that are facing a threatened status.
hunting in washington, animals, protected species
Tuesday, 09 June 2015 11:54 AM
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