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Each animal has two classifications: their species group, and their and endangerment level at both the state and federal level (yes, they are often different!). Read more about these species below!

Oregon Spotted Frog

Rana pretiosa

Federal Status: Threatened

State Status: Sensitive

The Oregon spotted frog can range in color from brown to red on their backs, and they can be distinguished by their fully webbed toes, black spots with ragged edges, and somewhat short legs. Their upturned eyes allow for this frog to see what happens on the surface while they are underwater. Oregon spotted frogs can be found in lakes, ponds, and wetlands, and their main threat has been loss of habitat.

Franklin's Bumble Bee

Bombus franklini

Federal Status: Endangered

This bumble bee is known for having the smallest population distribution in the world. The Franklin's bumble bee is a pollinator that has been spotted in large floral habitats in southern Oregon and northern California. With their yellow thorax and black abdomen, this bumble bee can be recognized by its lack of rings or markings on the abdomen. Little is known about this species since their populations are extremely small.

Vernal Pool Fairy Shrimp

Branchinecta lynchi

Federal Status: Threatened

Within Oregon, this freshwater crustacean can only be found in Jackson County, but also resides within regions in California. Their habitat consists of vernal pools, or small, seasonal deposits of water that dry up in the summer. Despite having "shrimp" in their name, the vernal pool fairy shrimp does not have a hard shell to protect their bodies. Their eggs, however, are very strong and can withstand digestion by aniamls and harsh environmental conditions. These crustaceans have very short lifespans (91 days on average) and can be seen starting in November of most years.

Marbled Murrelet

Brachyramphus marmoratus

Federal Status: Threatened

State Status: Endangered

The marbled murrelet is primarily classified as a seabird; however, they nest several miles inland in conifer trees during their prolonged breeding season. From April to November, these birds can be found in pairs, but their nests are rarely spotted. The marbled murrelet nests in heights as tall as 120 feet. They have a short neck and tail, and a thin, pointed bill.

Lost River Sucker

Deltistes luxatus

Federal Status: Endangered

State Status: Endangered

Also known as the sacred C'waam fish to tribes native to the Klamath region, the Lost River Sucker can be found at the bottom of lakes and rivers in the Klamath Basin region. These fish can be identified by their green back, white belly, and protubed upper lip. Klamath Tribes are currently working to protect and restore the C'waam to larger populations.

Shortnose Sucker

Chasmistes brevirostris

Federal Status: Endangered

State Status: Endangered

Similarly to the C'waam, this fish has cultural significance to the Klamath Tribes of Southern Oregon. The shortnose sucker is more commonly known as the Koptu, and while they also have a green back and creamy white belly, they are set apart from the C'waam due to their thin lips and shorter length.

Northern Spotted Owl

Strix occidentalis caurina

Federal Status: Threatened

State Status: Threatened

This medium-sized owl has chocolatey-brown feathers with white spots on their head, neck, back, and belly. They prefer to nest in old-growth Douglas-fir trees, and they prey on small woodland mammals at night. This species has an interesting conservation story; in the 1990s, when the northern spotted owl was listed as endangered, management plans were put in place to limit the timber industry from cutting down the old-growth forests that the owls inhabit. They are known as an indicator for a healthy forest.

Bull Trout

Salvelinus confluentus

Federal Status: Threatened

The bull trout, which is actually a member of the char family, have orange spots that cover their body and set them apart from the drab, gray scale color of their scales. Since they are a migratory species, these fish prefer cool streams or rivers that have tributaries and complex habitats. While some bull trout stay in the same stream for their entire lives, others are born in freshwater, then migrate to the ocean and return to freshwater to reproduce.

Pacific Marten

Martes caurina 

Federal Status: Threatened

The pacific marten inhabits forests lots of snags and logs for foraging. As a member of the weasel family, they are sometimes misidentified as a fisher when spotted in the wild. The popualtionns of the pacific marten are very fragmented throughout California, Montana, British Columbia, and Oregon, and they are often preyed upon by other predators such as bobcats. They are omnivorous, and while they do not hibernate, pacific martens do have a decrease in activity during the winter months.

Gray Wolf

Canis lupus

Federal Status: Endangered

State Status: Endangered

Arguably the most well-known species on this list, the gray wolf has a coat mixed with gray and brown fur and a light underbelly, but their fur color varies from animal to animal. These carnivores life in packs, and they previously occupied most of the western United States. The gray wolf has been the subject of many conservation efforts, and several reintroduction programs strive to sustainably bring the wolf population to higher levels.

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Look Beyond Looks, 2023

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