Paper pub. date
January 2001
ISBN 9780870715358 (paperback)
8-1/2 x 11 inches, 544 pages. Illustrations. Maps. Glossary. Index.
Out of print

Atlas of Oregon Wildlife

Thomas A. O'Neil, Margaret M. Shaughnessy, John C. Hak, and Blair Csuti

From the common deer mouse and the elusive spotted owl to the tailed frog and the painted turtle, the comprehensive Atlas of Oregon Wildlife has become the standard reference for all who study or have an interest in the state's wildlife. It combines current knowledge on the habitats and life histories of Oregon's wildlife species with a new generation of computer-generated species distribution maps. Newly revised, the Atlas is now available for the first time in paperback.

The Atlas devotes a full page to each amphibian, reptile, breeding bird, and mammal found in Oregon. Each species account features:

  • a drawing of and measurements for the species;
  • a map linked to a high-resolution land-cover map that shows where each species is likely to be found within Oregon;
  • the taxonomy, habitat, reproduction, food habits, and ecology of each species, as well as its global range and status.

For this second edition, new and improved distribution maps have been added for all 474 species. The coverage has been expanded to include all introduced vertebrates recognized as established in the state, all species of seals and sea lions found along its coast, and six extirpated species, including the California condor, the grizzly bear, and the gray wolf, which may someday return to Oregon.

This new edition of the Atlas will provide interested citizens with a basic understanding of Oregon's remarkable wildlife and serve as an invaluable reference for serious naturalists and wildlife professionals.

About the author

Tom O'Neil is director of the Northwest Habitat Institute and has worked as a wildlife ecologist and biologist for a number of organizations and agencies, including the U.S. Forest Service and the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife. He has written more than 40 publications and is co-author of the Atlas of Oregon Wildlife (OSU Press).

Read more about this author

Margaret M. Shaughnessy has contributed her time and expertise to a variety of natural resources issues in the Pacific Northwest. Currently, she is serving as Coordinator for the South Santiam Watershed Council.

Read more about this author

John C. Hak is the GIS Program manager for the Oregon Natural Heritage Program in Portland.

Read more about this author

Blair Csuti, Ph.D., is Conservation Program Coordinator at the Oregon Zoo and Courtesy Associate Professor of Geosciences at Oregon State University.

Read more about this author

   Wildlife Habitats of Oregon
Reference Maps of Oregon

Species Maps and Natural History Notes
   Breeding Birds



Appendix: Checklist of Terrestrial Breeding Vertebrates


The Atlas of Oregon Wildlife summarizes information dating from the early days of European exploration of the Pacific Northwest to the present. The first records of many species from Oregon were reported in the journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804-1806). Most specimens collected by Lewis and Clark were deposited with the Peale Museum, Independence Hall, Philadelphia, and were incorporated into the collections of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, established in 1812. We are indebted to those individuals who, over the years leading up to this project, have collected, recorded, and catalogued the information on Oregon wildlife used in the development of this book.

Many people contributed to the first edition of this atlas. We appreciate Teri Waldron's dedication and tenacity while compiling museum data for the Oregon Species Information System. Others who helped collect and compile information for this effort include: Charlie Bruce, Dan Edwards, Richard Green, Loree Havel, Anita McMillan, Wanda McKenzie, Kim Mellon, Harry Nehls, Melissa Platt, Mark Stern, Harold Sturgis, and Faye Weekly. Range Bayer, Merlin Eltzroth, Craig Groves, Steve Summers, and Laura Todd contributed data sets that were invaluable to this effort. Jeff Waldron, Fish and Wildlife Information Exchange, provided valuable assistance with computer programming and information management. Roger Cole, Rob Solomon, Mark Stern, and countless volunteers helped the Oregon Natural Heritage Program prepare its data base on species distribution. Alan Contreras and Richard Forbes reviewed the text for bird and mammal species accounts, respectively. Reviewers of the range maps include Lois F. Alexander, Brad Bales, Kat Beal, Joe Beatty, Andy Blaustein, Charlie Bruce, Heidi Brunkel, Bruce Bury, Chris Carey, Frank Conley, Alan Contreras, Larry Cooper, Doug Cottam, John Crawford, Dan Edwards, Leonard Erickson, Terry Farrell, Richard Forbes, Jeff Gilligan, Rebecca Goggans, Marc Hayes, Mark Henjum, Richard F. Hoyer, Gary Ivey, Bob Jarvis, David Johnson, George Keister, A. Ross Kiester, Jim Lemos, Carol Littlefield, John Loegering, Jack Mortenson, Harry Nehls, S. Kim Nelson, Eric Pelren, Joe Pesek, Michael Pope, Ken Popper, Claire Puchy, Merritt Stegmeier, Mark Stern, Alan St. John, Robert Storm, Cynthia Tait, Neil Teneyck, Jim Thrailkill, Chuck Trainer, Madeleine Vander Heyden, Dan VanDyke, Walt VanDyke, and Simon Wray.

Contributors to this second edition include Paul Adamus, John Applegarth, Terry Campos, Joseph Collins, Alan Contreras, Mary Finnerty, Dave Marshall, Jack Mortenson, Lilsa Ozório, Ken Popper, Eric Scheuering, Cynthia Tait, and the many users of the first edition of this atlas who submitted comments. The reference maps on page xvii were prepared by Jon Kimerling. The Oregon Gap Analysis Version 2 Vegetation Map, prepared by Chris Kjilsgaard, was used in the development of the species distribution maps. We thank all the above for generously agreeing to review parts of this atlas; the final maps and text remain the responsibility of the authors.

Agencies contributing support were: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), Wildlife Diversity Program; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Federal Aid Program, Wildlife Restoration Project (under Grant W-87-R to ODFW); National Biological Service (now Biological Resources Division, U.S. Geological Survey); Oregon State Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; and Oregon Natural Heritage Advisory Council. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provided support to The Nature Conservancy (under Cooperative Assistance Agreement C R 820694-01-0).

Data compilation and map production for this atlas were supported by the Biodiversity Research Consortium (BRC), a group of United States government agencies, academic, and nongovernmental institutions performing coordinated research on biodiversity assessment and management methods. The BRC acknowledges the support of Cooperative Research Agreement PNW 920283 between the USDA Forest Service and Oregon State University, Inter-agency Agreement DW12935631 between the EPA and the USDA Forest Service, and the USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station.

We are grateful to Barry Garrison and Monica Parisi, California Wildlife Habitat Relationships Program, California Department of Fish and Game, and the California Interagency Wildlife Task Group for permission to reproduce line drawings from the three-volume publication, California's Wildlife (Zeiner et a]. 1988, 1990a, 1990b), and for providing original drawings prepared by Lisa Hall. In addition, we thank Dr. Richard DeGraaf for permission to reproduce line drawings for some breeding bird species from New England Wildlife (DeGraaf and Rudis 1983). In addition to these two sources, line drawings on pages 343, 349, 351, 374, 379, 399,404,407,413,418,419,420,423,428,431,45 1, 456, 460, 470, and 474 are reprinted from Mammals of the Pacific States: California, Oregon, and Washington, by Lloyd G. Ingles (1947, 1954, 1965), the Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Jr. University, with the permission of Stanford University Press, Line drawings on pages 73, 74, and 141 are reprinted from Birds of the Pacific Northwest, by E.J. Larrison (1971), with permission of the publishers, University of Idaho Press. The line drawings on pages 136 and 177 are original work by Mark D. Newberg. Line drawings on pages 13, 19, 34, and 48 are reprinted from Amphibians and Reptiles of Western North America, by Robert C. Stebbins (1954), McGraw-Hill Inc., with permission of the author. The line drawing of the Trumpeter Swan, page 91, is reprinted from Waterfowl of North America, by Paul A. Johnsgard (1975), Indiana University Press, with permission of the author. The line drawing of the Solitary Sandpiper, page IS 3, is reprinted from A Popular Handbook of the Ornithology of Eastern North America, Volume 1: the Land Birds, by T. Nuttall, revised and annotated by M. Chamberlain (1891), Little Brown and Company.

We would like to thank Jo Alexander, Managing Editor, OSU Press, without whose perseverance and editing skills this atlas would not have been possible.


Oregon has a rich diversity of wildlife: in this book we discuss the 474 native and introduced terrestrial vertebrates that breed in Oregon. An additional 91 species visit the state during winter or migration (Puchy and Marshall 1993). Approximately 77 species show up occasionally, bringing Oregon's total wildlife diversity to 642 species, or more than 42% of all terrestrial vertebrates found in the United States and Canada.

Despite this wealth of wildlife, the only comprehensive accounts of the distribution, habitat, and natural history for many of Oregon's species are over half a century old. In 1936, Vernon Bailey published The Mammals and Life Zones of Oregon, and, in 1940, Ira Gabrielson and Stanley Jewett wrote Birds of Oregon. While some more recent reference works deal with particular groups of animals (Brown et al. 1995, Gilligan et al. 1994, Leonard et al. 1993, Maser et al. 1981, Nussbaum et al. 1983, Verts and Carraway 1998), we lack a comprehensive guide to the current distribution, habitat, and natural history of Oregon's wildlife.

The present work grew out of efforts by the U.S. Geological Survey, the Oregon Natural Heritage Program (ORNHP), ODFW, and other cooperating agencies and organizations to determine the distribution of two components of Oregon's biological diversity: vegetation cover and its associated wildlife species. This program, known as "Gap Analysis," is intended to provide wildlife managers with the information they need to anticipate and prevent loss of biodiversity. Details of the methods of Gap Analysis are presented in Kagan et al. (1999), Scott et al. (1993) and Scott and Csuti (1997); further information, including availability of state map products, is available from the Gap Analysis World Wide Web Home Page: While the information gathered for Gap Analysis is maintained as digital data in a geographic information system, this atlas provides a larger audience with access to current knowledge about Oregon's wildlife. Only limited detail can be shown on state maps small enough to fit on an atlas page, but these should provide the user with a guide to where species can be expected to occur in appropriate habitats within Oregon's varied landscapes.

Regardless of their scale, all range maps are predictions about where species may be found. These predictions are more likely to be correct when applied to larger areas (a whole mountain range or major watershed) over several breeding seasons. Many species have special habitat requirements that are irregularly distributed over the landscape. For example, even though frogs lay their eggs in streams or ponds, it is impossible to map the location of every stream or pond in the state. Because of this, the most important thing to remember when using the maps in this atlas is that a species will be found in an area only if its special habitat requirements are satisfied. In addition, the distribution of some species, especially birds, may vary from year to year. The maps presented here serve as a guide to the habitats and general distribution of each species. They can direct you to areas where field studies can determine if a species has found the right combination of habitat elements that enable it to establish and maintain a population.

Animal distribution maps are developed by plotting the locations at which a species has been observed. Observations can be recent or old, well documented or suspect. Prior to the last few decades, many field naturalists collected specimens of the species they encountered and deposited them in natural history museums. These specimens form the basis of much of our knowledge about animal distributions, although recent habitat changes may invalidate older records. Specimens are infrequently collected these days except to answer specific research questions. Instead, reliable observations of many species are recorded through a variety of volunteer programs, such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Breeding Bird Survey, Oregon Field Ornithologists' Breeding Bird Atlas project, or the Audubon Society's Christmas Bird Counts.

A very simple type of distribution map places dots on a map where a species has been seen. If the peripheral dots are connected, the result is a continuous range map. Of course, not every area within its range is equally likely to be inhabited by a species. In addition, biological surveys in Oregon, as in other regions, have not sampled the state evenly, so we have better collection data for certain parts of the state. In the past, distribution maps depicted a species present everywhere within the limits of its range, often including large areas of unsuitable habitat (Csuti 1971, Hall 1981). The maps in this atlas represent an attempt to address this problem by linking species distributions with a map of wildlife habitats, thereby excluding areas of inappropriate habitat from a species' predicted distribution. The maps in this second edition, originally developed for the Oregon Gap Analysis Project, represent a refinement of the maps in the first edition of the Atlas. We used updated hexagon distribution information, a new vegetation map, and a modified wildlife-habitat relationships crosswalk.

Our distribution maps synthesize data from information systems developed by ORNHP, in cooperation with the U.S. EPA, the Gap Analysis Program of the U.S. Geological Survey, the Biodiversity Research Consortium, and ODFW. To prepare the maps, ORNHP placed 441 equal area hexagons over a map of the state of Oregon. Each hexagon covers 635 square kilometers, or about 160,000 acres. The hexagons were developed for the Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP) of the U.S. EPA (White et al. 1992). Here they serve as a spatial accounting unit for individual locality records. The sources (specimen record, expert opinion, literature citation, state reference book) used to predict the presence of a species in a hexagon are recorded in a data base by ORNHP. This data set is continually updated as new information becomes available. The resulting hexagon distribution maps represent an intermediate step in the development of final distribution maps. Experts for each vertebrate class reviewed these hexagon distribution maps.

A second component needed to generate distribution maps is a map of wildlife habitats. We began with a new map of vegetation covers produced for the Oregon Gap Analysis Program (OR-GAP). The Version 2 OR-GAP land cover map was produced by ODFW (Kiilsgaard 1999) and is described in detail in the OR-GAP final report (Kagan et al. 1999). It is based on interpretation of 23 Landsat Thematic Mapper scenes taken the summer and fall months of 1991 to 1993. A total of 65 landscape level vegetation cover types were identified. These vegetation types were grouped into 31 habitat types according to their faunal similarity (O'Neil et al. 1995). The habitat types are described in the next section.

The final component needed to produce distribution maps is a table associating each species with the habitat types within which it is likely to occur. Because we used a new vegetative cover map, we needed a new wildlife-habitat relationships (WHR) matrix that would include the new habitat types. The original WHR used in the first edition was modified to include these new habitat types, and corrections were made based on comments we had received from expert reviewers. Major changes included dropping two types, Idaho Fescue and Alkali Grasslands, because they were not mapped in the new vegetation coverage. Three types were added to better represent wildlife habitats. One type was added by splitting Douglas-fir Forests, to differentiate Westside Douglas-fir from Eastside Douglas-fir Mixed Conifer Forests. A second new type was created by separating Agriculture from Urban, which had been lumped in the WHR matrix used for the first edition. Finally, a Rocky Shore category was added to represent islands and rocky shorelines along the coast, using a geologic layer to separate rocky coastal areas from coastal beaches and dunes.

The final distribution maps represent a combination of the revised hexagon maps and the new GAP vegetative cover map using the modified WHR matrix. By combining the habitat information contained in the WHR matrix with geographic distribution by hexagon, we restrict the predicted distribution of a species to stands of appropriate habitat types within its distributional limits. This intersection of tabular and spatial habitat data insures, for example, that forest-dwelling species are not mapped in neighboring unforested landscapes. The major limitation remains our inability to map important but small habitat features. These features are described in the text, and should be used in conjunction with the maps to assess the probability of encountering a species in a particular area. Details about this computerized approach to distribution mapping can be found in Butterfield et al. (1994) and Csuti (1996).

The computer- generated maps in this atlas therefore represent an intersection of three data sets. First, the limits of distribution of a species are described in terms of predicted presence or absence in a geographic unit. Next, a habitat map, based on vegetation cover types and the species that occupy them, is created. Then each species is assigned to a set of habitat types. The final map represents all habitat types associated with a particular species within its distributional limits in Oregon.

Cartography is the art and science of making maps. On maps, the real world is represented at reduced scale by lines, symbols, shadings, and other graphic conventions. Maps are only a representation of reality and cannot depict all the detail one encounters in nature. The maps in this atlas make unavoidable generalizations about the distributions of species. For example, the state hydrologic network is used to represent the distribution of species closely associated with water (e.g., Belted Kingfisher), but only larger rivers and streams are shown. This representation of rivers and streams does not mean that other suitable streams within the state do not support populations of kingfishers, only that cartographic constraints prevent us from displaying every stream on our maps. Other species (e.g., Canyon Wren) are widespread in Oregon, but are found only in localized microhabitats (e.g., rimrock, rocky canyons).

With the availability of a historical vegetation map, OR-GAP was able to create historical vertebrate species distribution maps for species that have been extirpated since European settlement. The historical vegetation map consisted of 38 cover types combined into 28 of the 31 habitat types used in our Version 2 species coverages. Two of the three missing cover types (Urban and Agriculture) were not found in the historic landscape. The only habitat not mapped in the historic coverage was chaparral. The current WHR was modified to reflect the different types and changes in habitat use from present times. Hexagon distributions were estimated for extirpated species (Bailey 1936, Csuti pers. com., Gabrielson and Jewett 1940, Nussbaum et al. 1983, Verts and Carraway 1984, Verts and Carraway 1998).

Winter distribution of birds is less predictable than their breeding distribution. Birds tend to move from one area to another during winter, often in response to changes in the weather. Some species that ordinarily migrate south may remain in Oregon during mild winters. Although Christmas Bird Counts, sponsored by the National Audubon Society, provide the best information on winter distribution of birds, they take place over a span of several weeks in late fall and early winter. This variation may introduce some inconsistency to our understanding of winter bird distribution. National maps based on these records have been compiled by Root (1988). Because of the uncertain nature of winter distributions, we have not attempted to map winter ranges of birds. There are 91 additional bird species that neither winter nor breed in Oregon but stop over in the state during their spring and summer while their breeding habitat is frozen over. Many, but not all, of these species are shorebirds and waterfowl, and they can be seen on nearly any piece of open water sometime during migration. Because they are 'just traveling through,' and because their appearance is to some extent unpredictable, we do not attempt to map the distribution of these species. Gilligan et al. (1994) give the reader more specific details about migratory and winter distribution of birds in Oregon. More detailed information about the distribution and abundance of birds in winter is presented in Contreras (1997).

The Oregon Field Ornithologists has recently completed a five-year volunteer project to gather observations of breeding birds throughout Oregon. Publication of these results is expected in the spring of 2001 on a CD-ROM. This project will add significantly to our knowledge of the breeding distribution of Oregon's birds. Because results were not fully compiled as this book went to press, we are unable to include them in this Atlas.

We have described the global range and summarized the taxonomy and natural history of each native and commonly encountered introduced terrestrial vertebrate that breeds in Oregon from standard reference works, regional guides, The Nature Conservancy's Vertebrate Characterization Abstracts, ODFW's Oregon Species Information System text, and in some instances, original literature. In this edition we include all introduced species except domestic animals and livestock, all species extirpated since European settlement, and all seals and sea lions. For each species, selected references providing additional ecological or taxonomic details are listed. Some sources used to compile species notes expressed measurements in English units. We have elected to retain the original measurements rather than introduce rounding errors by converting to metric units. The length of an average adult (including tail, when present) is given in inches and centimeters for each species. However, users should be aware that there is often considerable size variation among adults of a species, and that males and females may differ in size. We have followed species nomenclature of generally accepted reference works (American Ornithologists' Union 1998 and supplements, Brown et al. 1995, Leonard et al. 1993, Wilson and Ruff 1999). Other common or Latin names used for species in the literature are mentioned in Comments. We follow the sequence of species used in the above references. Wilson and Reeder (1993) made significant changes in the arrangement of mammalian orders. Their sequence, based on recent advances in mammalian systematics, has been generally accepted (Nowak 1999, Wilson and Ruff 1999) and is followed in this edition. Consistent with the American Ornithologists' Union (1998), we capitalize common names of birds. Except for recent taxonomic revisions, the list of native species that breed in Oregon follows Puchy and Marshall (1993), supplemented by more recent information on breeding status given in Gilligan et al. (1994). We hope that, in combination with species distribution maps, the information in this atlas will provide interested citizens with a basic understanding of and appreciation for the diverse wildlife of our remarkable state and serve as a useful reference for serious naturalists and wildlife professionals.

Wildlife Habitats of Oregon

1. Alpine Open to closed communities of dwarf shrubs, grasses and forbs, including alpine fell fields and other rocky areas. Some alpine grasslands in northeastern Oregon occur in a matrix with whitebark pine, but on Steens Mountain they occur with stands of aspen. Usually found above 7,000 feet. Idaho fescue is an important grass in these communities and mountain big sage is also frequent.

2. Perennial Bunchgrass A grassland community dominated by medium to tall grasses (such as bluebunch wheatgrass, bottlebrush squirreltail, Sandberg bluegrass or Idaho fescue) often interspersed with shrubs (e.g., big sagebrush) or occasional junipers or other trees.

3. Mountain Big Sagebrush Medium tall shrub communities found on higher elevation plateaus, slopes, and rocky flats with moderate to good soil development. Mountain big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata ssp. vaseyana) is usually the dominant or co-dominant shrub, but sometimes occurs in a mosaic with low sagebrush. There is often an understory of Idaho fescue. Mountain snowberry communities, found between mountain big sagebrush and alpine communities, are also included in this wildlife habitat type.

4. Agricultural This anthropogenic cover type includes all manner of lands under cultivation, including pasture, row crops, dryland and irrigated wheat fields, alfalfa, and orchards. A surprising variety of native wildlife species make use of agricultural lands, especially where there are small remnants of riparian vegetation or other trees (native and introduced) and shrubs in the agricultural matrix.

5. Urban This anthropogenic cover type includes all areas that are dominated by urban or industrial development, even if there are remnant patches of native vegetation scattered within the urban -industrial mosaic. Many urban areas in western Oregon retain considerable amounts of natural vegetation and support a diverse fauna. Urban areas are also heavily used for shelter by wintering birds throughout the state during periods of inclement weather.

6. Canyon Shrubland This is a tall to medium shrub community that occurs on steep slopes of foothill or mountain canyons in eastern Oregon. Along the southern part of the east slope of the Cascades, it merges with southwest Oregon chaparral cover types. Idaho fescue is often present in the understory. Typical shrubs include bitterbrush, serviceberry, and bittercherry. Big sagebrush often grows nearby, and there may be occasional junipers or ponderosa pines in these communities.

7. Early Shrub-Tree This habitat type includes early successional stages of forests following clear-cutting or fires. In this community, the regenerating forest has not yet grown sufficiently to provide any significant canopy closure, however a variety of shrub species provide good ground cover. Where stumps and downed logs are abundant, as following a fire, this community type can provide habitat for many species adapted to open areas with good cover. Recent clear-cuts and fires are easily identified in satellite imagery.

8. Lava Field There are several examples of recent lava flows, mostly in eastern Oregon, which are unvegetated or have sparse grass-shrub vegetation in pockets of soil accumulation. These areas with little or no soil provide no habitat for burrowing rodents.

9. Big Sagebrush Big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) communities dominate vast expanses of eastern Oregon where there is moderate to good soil development. This is a medium to tall shrub community dominated by Wyoming and basin big sagebrush. Low sagebrush may occur in areas with shallow soil. A variety of native bunchgrasses may be found in the understory. Rabbitbrush is often found in areas that are grazed or otherwise disturbed. Scattered western junipers commonly occur in this habitat type.

10. Low Sagebrush Low sagebrush communities are found on ridge tops, plateaus, or gentle slopes in eastern Oregon where, typically, there is little soil development. In addition to low sagebrush, these communities may be dominated by rigid sagebrush, budsage, or black sagebrush. They are generally low to medium shrub mosaics with a variety of bunchgrasses in the understory. In some examples, there are scattered junipers and ponderosa pines.

11. Mixed Sagebrush This is a habitat composed of a collection of plant communities in which various species of sagebrush occur as a mixture or mosaic. Big sagebrush is usually a component plant, but other plants include silver sagebrush, rabbitbrush, bitterbrush, low sagebrush, and mountain big sagebrush. These are low to tall shrub communities that have either native or introduced grass understories. They usually occur across wide valleys with non-alkaline soils. Silver sagebrush communities, however, are typical of moist, semi-alkaline flats or valley bottomlands.

12. Quaking Aspen This is a low woodland or forest community, ranging from wet streamsides areas to moist mountain slopes. It is often found on steep slopes, around seeps in desert mountains, or on north slopes in plateau grasslands. Quaking aspen is the characteristic tree, and snowberry is the most common shrub. The stands occasionally include Engelmann spruce, lodgepole pine, or broad-leaved trees.

13. Western Juniper Western juniper is a widespread, small tree that is diagnostic of the many types of open woodland habitats with understories of various scattered shrubs and grasses. Big sagebrush, low sagebrush, mountain mahogany, bitterbrush, and mountain big sagebrush all are found within western juniper woodlands. A variety of native grasses are found in the understory. A unique mixture of ponderosa pine and western juniper found at the Lost Forest of northern Lake County is included in this habitat type.

14. Ponderosa Pine-White Oak Arid woodlands and dry forests of ponderosa pine, often mixed with other trees, including Douglas-fir, lodgepole pine and Oregon white oak are represented in this habitat type. In southern Oregon and on the east slope of the northern Cascades, Oregon white oak is commonly associated with ponderosa pine. Most of the original and some of the remaining woodland of the Blue Mountains typify this habitat type. Often there is a savannah-like structure to the woodland, with an understory of Idaho fescue or bluebunch wheatgrass.

15. Saltmarsh This habitat consists of Oregon's coastal saltmarshes, including both vegetated and unvegetated intertidal marshes dominated by sedge, rush, or bulrush, with silty or sandy substrates.

16. East Side Douglas-fir Mixed Conifer These are closed-canopy mid-elevation (3,000 to 6,500 feet) mixed coniferous forests found primarily in the Blue Mountains but also in parts of the east slope of the northern Cascades. Common trees include Douglas-fir, grand fir, western larch, lodgepole pine, and ponderosa pine. Rarely does a single species dominate. The second-growth mixed forests of the Blue Mountains following logging or disturbance are included in this habitat type.

17. Western Douglas-fir Mixed Conifer These are closed-canopy low-elevation coniferous forests found west of the crest of the Cascades. The dominant tree is Douglas-fir, often found in a mosaic with other conifers. Along the coastal strip, forests are dominated by Sitka spruce, mixed with western hemlock and western red cedar, and in southwestern Oregon there is a Port Orford cedar zone. Farther south, Sitka spruce becomes mixed with grand fir and Douglas-fir. In remaining areas of older forests, Douglas-fir, western hemlock and western red cedar form a closed canopy under which a variety of other trees and shrubs occur to form a multi -storied forest with a rich and diverse assemblage of plants on the forest floor.

18. Mountain Hemlock These forests and woodlands occur at mid- to high elevations (mostly above 4,500 feet but sometimes as low as 3,500 feet) on both slopes of the Cascades. Mountain hemlock and Pacific silver fir are the characteristic trees, but stands are often mixed with other trees, including Douglas-fir, noble fir, grand fir, white fir, western white pine, subalpine fir, and lodgepole pine. Except at the highest elevations it usually forms a closed canopy forest.

19. Montane-Lodgepole Pine This habitat consists of a number of mid- to high elevation (above 3,500 feet) closed canopy forest types that occur on the east slope of the Cascades and in the Blue Mountains. Lodgepole pine is conspicuous in most but not all of these forests. The tree species that are also present include Engelmann spruce, subalpine fir, red fir, Douglas-fir, western larch, whitebark pine, and white and grand fir. Many of the forests of the Blue Mountains and East Cascades that are recovering from fires are of this type.

20. Siskiyou Mixed Conifer The Siskiyou Mountains and, to a lesser extent, the west slopes of the south Cascades, have one of the world's most diverse coniferous forest floras. The forest types in this region are grouped together because of their geography and faunal similarity as much as for their common floristics. They occur at elevations from 2,000 to 7,300 feet. At lower elevations, Oregon's redwood, Port Orford cedar and mixed evergreen forests of Douglas-fir, tanoak, and madrone are included. Higher up the slopes are forests of Jeffrey pine (growing on serpentine soil), lodgepole pine, ponderosa pine, incense cedar, and true fir. At elevations above 4,000 feet, some sites support open-canopied forests of red fir, white fir, Douglas-fir, and lodgepole pine.

21. Mixed Conifer-Deciduous This is the habitat type that now covers most of the managed forested lowlands of western Oregon and the lower elevations of the west slope of the Cascades. Most of these second-growth forests and recent c1carcuts in western Oregon are dominated by young Douglas-fir, often mixed with red alder and bigleaf maple. This type includes areas dominated by bigleaf maple and red alder, without significant Douglas-fir cover. It also includes a mixed hardwood, Douglas-fir type from southwestern Oregon which includes young and mature Douglas-fir with southwestern deciduous species such as Pacific dogwood and oak, and some evergreen hardwoods including madrone, tanoak and chinquapin.

22. Playa This habitat denotes the barren, alkali flats of southeastern Oregon. During the winter they are flooded by rains and can be important to migratory birds. They are generally devoid of vegetation but there may be patches of saltgrass and an occasional clump of greasewood. Large playas are found in many Pleistocene lake basins.

23. Marsh Marshes are typically flooded for much of the year. The most common freshwater marshes contain some open water that is surrounded by encroaching growths of hardstem bulrush, cattail, and burreed. These are important habitats for migratory and breeding waterfowl and a variety of other aquatic species. This habitat type also includes remnants of Willamette Valley tufted hair grass prairie, which is flooded during the winter, and reed canary grass wetlands of disturbed areas, such as those around reservoirs and farm ponds.

24. Wet Meadow There are two types of wet mountain meadows, one in the Blue and Ochoco Mountains and the other in valleys of the cast slope of the Cascades. Both are found on alluvial soils along stream channels or in valley bottoms. One type is dominated by tall sedges (genus Carex) and the other by tufted hairgrass or bluegrass. Frequently there will be stringers of willow riparian vegetation along streams that run through these meadows.

25. Riparian This complex of riparian habitat types includes black hawthorn riparian that formerly covered broad, low-elevation floodplains in eastern Oregon (now common only in the Grande Ronde Valley). The two most common riparian types in Oregon are dominated by cottonwoods and willows, which form tall forest or shrub communities along the banks of rivers and streams. These communities are rich in wildlife, especially breeding birds, but are sensitive to grazing. In the valleys of western Oregon, streams are frequently bordered with Oregon ash and black cottonwood, often within a matrix of agricultural and pasture lands. Included in this habitat type, because of proximity, are the forests and woodlands of Oregon white oak and Douglas-fir that mix with farmland and towns around the edge of the Willamette, Rogue, and Umpqua valleys.

26. Open Water While there may be open water in some marshes and wetlands, at least temporarily, true "open water" refers to large bodies of standing water (lakes, reservoirs) and permanent rivers and streams. Many aquatic species are restricted to open water habitats. Digital information on the location of small bodies of open water is not yet available for Oregon, so this microhabitat is underrepresented in predictions of distributions of species associated with open water.

27. Chaparral This is a wildlife habitat type found in foothills and mountain slopes around the valleys of southwestern Oregon. It includes medium to tall shrublands (often dominated by buckbrush and manzanita) in which there are scattered stands of trees (ponderosa pine, Jeffrey pine, lodgepole pine, Oregon white oak) and open forests and woodlands of oak and madrone with a shrub understory.

28. Inland Dunes This habitat includes open sand dunes with scattered medium to tall shrubs (often big sagebrush, bitterbrush, or horse-brush) that are located on flats at the margins of inland playas. Occasional bunchgrasses, rhizomatous grasses, and forbs occur among widely spaced shrubs. The most significant inland sand dunes are the Alvord, Carlow, Guano, and Christmas Valley dunes.

29. Salt-Desert Shrub This group of plant communities is dominated by shrubs of the family Chenopodiaccae (shadscale, black greasewood, spiny hopsage, saltsage, and winterfat). This family has a special photosynthetic pathway that improves water conservation in the hot, and environments of southeastern Oregon. It is a habitat of low to medium tall scattered shrubs growing on flat desert pavements, low alkaline dunes, around playas, or on gentle slopes above playas. This habitat is often surrounded by sagebrush growing on higher, less alkaline soil. Grasses and annual, often succulent, forbs grow widely spaced in the understory.

30. Coastal Dunes and Beaches These are open coastal sand dunes with areas partially to totally stabilized by introduced grasses and shrubs, native grasses and shrubs, and tree islands. They are mostly open dunes with scattered islands of pine forests, shrubs, and beachgrass. There are often extensive deflation plain wetlands between the dunes. Shorepine is the most widespread tree species in the dunes. They are entirely coastal, and salt spray and desiccation are major ecological factors.

31. Rocky Coast This habitat type includes all rocky coastal areas including sparsely vegetated headlands, cliffs, rocky beaches and offshore rocks.

"It's big, complete, easy to use, and great looking. What's most surprising is that this is the first time all available information on Oregon's wildlife has been collected in a single volume."

--The Oregonian

Sign Up for Our Newsletter