Rare Species of South Puget Sound
The prairies of South Puget Sound remain one of the rarest habitats in the United States.
Formed from glacial outwash over 11,000 years ago, this habitat has not been able to withstand the pressures of time. Because the prairies offer many unique qualities such as openness, productive soils and natural beauty, people have been drawn to them.
Unfortunately, this love affair has had a negative impact. Development, agriculture and fire suppression have lead to a dramatic decline of the prairie landscape.
The decline of prairie land has resulted in a suite of rare species that depend on this irreplaceable landscape for their survival:
Currently, there are six identified rare plants offering a unique beauty and quality to the prairie landscape. In addition to the rare plant life, there are a host of rare animals too; each unique to the prairies and each with their own set of habitat requirements. To learn more about these rare plants and animals follow the pictorial links provided below.
Unfortunately, rare plant and animal species are not exclusive to the South Puget Sound prairies. There are a number of struggling species throughout Washington State and the Pacific Coastal region. The Washington Natural Heritage Program (WNPH) provides lists of rare plants and animals that the WNPH maintains current information on, including taxonomy, ranking and current status. There is also a breakdown of rare plant species rankings, rare plant lists by county, field guide information, watch lists and more. To find out more about these rare plants and animals or to receive updated information go to: http://www.dnr.wa.gov/nhp.
For more descriptions of rare plants and animals of Washington State go to: http://wdfw.wa.gov/