State seeks comment on endangered status of butterflies, puffins

OLYMPIA — The state Department of Fish and Wildlife is inviting public comment on draft status reviews of the Oregon silverspot butterfly and the tufted puffin, along with a new recovery plan for the distinctive seabird.

In those documents, the state recommends keeping both species on the state’s endangered species list.

The draft status review and recovery plan for the tufted puffin is available on the department’s website at wdfw.wa.gov/ publications/02051.

The draft status review for the Oregon silverspot butterfly is posted at wdfw.wa.gov/publications/02052.

The department will accept public comments on those documents through May 17.

The tufted puffin, recognizable by its thick red bill and whitish tufts, spends the winter at sea, and nests during spring and summer in coastal colonies from California north to Alaska.

Once common along the Washington coast, puffins have suffered a dramatic population decline in recent years. The Protection Island National Wildlife Refuge near Port Townsend is one of the few areas they still nest in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

As discussed in the draft status review, possible reasons for this rapid decline include a reduction in available prey, predation at nesting colonies and factors related to climate change.

The state Fish and Wildlife Commission listed the tufted puffin as endangered in 2015.

The Oregon silverspot butterfly was historically found along the coast from Grays Harbor County to northern California, but disappeared from Washington in the 1980s.

The species was listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act in 1980, and as endangered under state law in 1993.

The state has been working with a variety of partners since 1990 to restore suitable habitat for Oregon silverspot butterflies with the goal of eventually reintroducing them to the state.

Written comments on documents for both species can be submitted via email to TandEpubliccom@dfw.wa.gov or by mail to Hannah Anderson, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, P.O. Box 43141, Olympia, WA 98504-3200.

More in News

Olympic Medical Center tells its reasons behind long ER waits

Staffing, transfer delays among several issues

Mark Morey is pictured in 2019 on City Pier in Port Angeles. (Paul Gottlieb)
Honorary degree, scholarship memorials to former PDN reporter

Mark Morey, who died Sunday, an award-winning journalist

Security exercise scheduled

Navy Region Northwest has announced that its bases will participate… Continue reading

Strange Brew Festival returns to Port Townsend

Two days of beer, music and crafts

Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group 

As part of the construction plan to build and move a new Hurd Creek Hatchery, crews will remove and fill in a large fish pond. Demolition must wait for the new, nearby facility to be complete, according to state documents.
Hurd Creek hatchery to be moved from floodplain

Construction expected through summer 2024

US loan funding meters, upgrades

Jefferson PUD plans replacement by ’24

Mobile showers may not be coming to Sequim

Staff says cost would be expensive and could create additional issues

Sewing day for quilt program

Quilts of Valor will host its annual sew day from… Continue reading

Captain/EMT Tyler Gear, at top, and Firefighter/Paramedic Margie Brueckner, bottom, train on Clallam 2’s new stair chair by lowering Recruit Theo Saxe down a flight of stairs.
Stair chair bought with grant funds

Clallam 2 Fire-Rescue has received a new stair chair… Continue reading

Most Read