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Understanding algal blooms in Liberty Bay, WA

Liberty Bay experiences intense and episodic algal blooms, which is of concern to local residents who perceive that the blooms are ‘getting worse.’ Without a continuous record of monitoring estuarine conditions and algal bloom events, evaluating change over time is difficult. In 2017, we established a community volunteer program to conduct year-round monitoring to document: 1) frequency, timing, and magnitude of phytoplankton blooms, 2)… Read Project SummaryUnderstanding algal blooms in Liberty Bay, WA

Investigating the impacts of a native mammal predator on key native and invasive species in marine and estuarine ecosystems of Northwest Washington

The goal of this project was to document the diet of an aquatic mammal predator, the river otter (Lontra canadensis), in coastal estuaries of the Makah Reservation in Northwest Washington. We sought to understand the potential role of these predators in bio-mitigation of a recent infestation of the invasive European green crab (Carcinus maenas) in Makah estuaries, as well as… Read Project SummaryInvestigating the impacts of a native mammal predator on key native and invasive species in marine and estuarine ecosystems of Northwest Washington

Protecting whales on the US West Coast by assessing and reducing “cryptic mortality”

Many US laws and policies use “best available science” to determine when a whale or dolphin population requires protection from ship strikes or entanglement in fishing gear. These protection measures may only be triggered when the science shows that we are exceeding some allowable harm threshold, but carcasses detected on the beach reflect only the tip of the iceberg. Many… Read Project SummaryProtecting whales on the US West Coast by assessing and reducing “cryptic mortality”

Information system and stakeholder symposium to support the conservation of Olympic mudminnow

This is a continuation of a 2017 CREOi award to support assessment of mudminnow populations in Washington State. Olympic mudminnow (Novumbra hubbsi) are Washington State’s only endemic species, and yet are subject to challenges plaguing many noncommercial freshwater species; namely the lack of consistent research and monitoring leading to knowledge gaps that limit conservation actions. The specific objectives of this proposal… Read Project SummaryInformation system and stakeholder symposium to support the conservation of Olympic mudminnow

Traffic and roadway impacts on amphibian diversity and distribution in the Snoqualmie Valley, WA

This is a companion project to a 2016 CREOi award. Globally, amphibians are threatened by fungal diseases, climate change, and habitat loss and fragmentation. In urbanizing areas like western Washington State, road corridors and increasing traffic may contribute to habitat fragmentation, blocking amphibian migration paths between spring breeding ponds and the upland forests that provide overwintering habitat. Oxbow staff and… Read Project SummaryTraffic and roadway impacts on amphibian diversity and distribution in the Snoqualmie Valley, WA

Large predator competition in an urbanizing world: Cougar and black bear interactions along the wildland-urban gradient of western Washington

  • Clint Robins, University of Washington

  • 2017

Humans have historically altered ecosystem structure through landscape manipulation, leaving “remnants,” or refuge patches of suitable habitat amidst inhospitable terrain. Large carnivores tend to be especially vulnerable to such habitat alterations because they often occur at low densities, have slow reproductive rates, and wide-ranging behavior necessitated by high food requirements. Multiple wildlife studies, however, have demonstrated large carnivore presence is… Read Project SummaryLarge predator competition in an urbanizing world: Cougar and black bear interactions along the wildland-urban gradient of western Washington

Discovering Island Biodiversity in the Salish Sea

Globally, islands are special places of concern for biological diversity because they are species-rich yet also highly vulnerable. Islands make up 5% of the land area of earth but house 20% of all bird, rodent and flowering plant species and 37% of critically endangered species; they have also hosted 61% of all recorded species extinctions. In the Salish Sea, islands… Read Project SummaryDiscovering Island Biodiversity in the Salish Sea

Restoring an endemic species to native tidelands: Olympia oysters in Swinomish pocket estuaries

This project is a continuation of a 2015-2016 CREOi award, supporting restoration of the Olympia oyster (Ostrea lurida), which has played an important ecological and cultural role as Washington’s only native oyster. Since 2012, Swinomish Indian Tribal Community (SITC) has been collaborating with regional partners on a long-term restoration project to reestablish, expand, and research Olympia oyster, Ostrea lurida, populations on Reservation… Read Project SummaryRestoring an endemic species to native tidelands: Olympia oysters in Swinomish pocket estuaries

Assessing the status of Canada lynx in the Kettle River Mountain Range

This project is a continuation of a 2016-2017 CREOi award to assess presence and density of Canada lynx in the Kettle River Mountain Range, an important east-west bridge for meta-populations of lynx and other wide-ranging species that occupy both the Cascades and Rocky Mountains. Based on camera trap surveys of the entire study area in 2016 and 2017, researchers intend… Read Project SummaryAssessing the status of Canada lynx in the Kettle River Mountain Range

Assessing the status of Canada lynx in the Kettle River Mountain Range

This project was a continuation of a 2016 CREOi award. Canada lynx, one of three wild cat species native to Washington State, depend on large pristine tracts of boreal forest habitat with ample snowshoe hare and persistent deep snow. In Washington, lynx populations steeply declined due to trapping and habitat degradation and they were afforded federal protection under the Endangered… Read Project SummaryAssessing the status of Canada lynx in the Kettle River Mountain Range