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Conservation

Oct 07, 2022

Once upon a time there were two wolf species: red wolves and gray wolves. Neither of them were “big and bad,” but they were often feared by humans. Over time, more and more were hunted. By 1940 gray wolves were decimated in the American wild and by the 1970s, so were red wolves. It was time for the story’s hero to step in. “Humans have a long history of blaming predators for problems, like wolves and grizzly bears,” says Marc Heinzman, zoological curator at Northwest Trek. “But scientific data shows that’s just not true in all cases.” While it’s true …

Aug 10, 2022

Northwest Trek Wildlife Park and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) are partnering with scientists from Wildlife Conservation Society Canada (WCSC) to test the effectiveness of a promising new bat-saving treatment to help wild bats survive the effects of white-nose syndrome. White-nose syndrome has killed millions of hibernating bats in eastern North America and was first discovered in Washington in 2016. State wildlife officials have confirmed white-nose syndrome in King, Chelan, Kittitas, and Pierce counties. The fungus that causes white-nose syndrome has also been confirmed in Lewis, Mason, Snohomish, and Yakima counties. “If this innovative probiotic spray is effective, …

Aug 04, 2022

Update, August 18th: Northwest Trek Wildlife Park released 124 endangered Northern leopard frogs earlier this week at the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge in Grant County. Keepers at Northwest Trek raised the frogs for 3 months from eggs through tadpole stage to froglets. This is a multi-agency partnership to help save this species that faces challenges like habitat loss, disease, non-native species, and climate change. By giving the frogs a head start and raising them free of predators, they are given a better chance of survival in the wild with the hope of establishing a new population of northern leopard frogs …

Jan 11, 2022

Northwest Trek Wildlife Park’s Zoological Curator Marc Heinzman has been accepted into the Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders program. This national two-year program brings together twenty emerging leaders in the wildlife conversation field for intense training in developing well-rounded and successful conservation campaigns. “I’m extremely passionate about the conservation of wildlife, and this program will give me the skills and knowledge to be as effective as possible in working toward that goal,” said Heinzman. Acceptance into the program provides the opportunity to connect with other emerging conservationists from across the country and other parts of the world. Participants will work in …

Nov 17, 2021

On Friday, November 5, federal, state, tribal and partner biologists released five fishers from Alberta, Canada into the lush, coastal forest near Lake Ozette, the latest event in a nearly two decades-long project to restore the native species to Washington State. Fishers- a member of the mustelid or weasel family roughly the size of a housecat that feeds on rodents, hares and even porcupines- were extirpated from Washington by the 1930s due to over-trapping, poisoning and fragmentation of their forest habitat. This latest fisher release is part of an ongoing partnership led by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), the National …

Oct 26, 2021

You could say we’re a bit batty for bats at Northwest Trek. We appreciate what bats offer our ecosystems — and because of that, we work hard to protect them. Northwest Trek is home to one of the largest wild bat colonies in the South Puget Sound region. The bats roost under the eaves of many of our buildings and around the wildlife park, including in all the bat boxes we’ve put on trees. Protecting bats is important Bats keep us all healthy. Pacific Northwest bats are insectivores, consuming their own body weight in bugs every night. If we didn’t …

Aug 10, 2021

OTHELLO, Wash.– Hundreds of endangered northern leopard frogs leapt back into the wild at the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge in Grant County last week. The releases were made possible by a partnership of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Oregon Zoo, Washington State University (WSU), and Northwest Trek Wildlife Park. WDFW collected northern leopard frog eggs earlier this spring, and after months of growing at the Oregon Zoo and Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, the frogs were ready for release. Once abundant throughout North America, northern leopard frogs are rapidly disappearing from their …

Aug 05, 2021

The scene was hushed with concentration. Eleven scientists and Northwest Trek staff members bent over rows of tables outside the Northwest Trek conservation center, far outside the public area at the Eatonville wildlife park. Birds chirped in the surrounding forest. But the real stars of the intense scientific focus were some 350 northern leopard frogs – most of whom were sleeping soundly under anesthetic. It was tagging and measuring day, an effort involving three different partner organizations, in careful preparation for releasing these endangered frogs back into the wild of eastern Washington. The goal? To help repopulate a vanishing species. …

Jun 29, 2021

Focusing intently, Jessica stares into the swirling depths of a big black water tank. Summer sun reflects off the surface, air bubbles stir up the mid-layer and the bottom is in deep shadow. On first glance it’s nearly impossible to see that the tank contains over 100 plump, wriggling tadpoles. But Jessica – an animal keeper at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park – suddenly dives her bare arm into the water with a small net scoop. “There you are!” she says, pleased, and gently deposits one tadpole into a shallow net pen floating at the surface. It’s vet check-up time for …

May 11, 2021

Seattle-Tacoma represent! More than 550 observers took part in this year’s City Nature Challenge spanning King and Pierce counties, including Everett, Seattle, Bellevue, Tacoma, Snohomish and any place in between! Between April 30 and May 3, community scientists submitted more than 7,000 nature observations and identified more than 1,200 species showing the world the incredible biodiversity in the region’s home turf. That’s the region’s all-time record! “This year we had more observers participate, more observations made and more species identified in the Seattle-Tacoma area than we have since our region joined City Nature Challenge in 2017! We’ve also heard from participants that …