Washington wildlife adds significantly to the thrill of winter recreation. Winter sports lead to remote areas where sportsmen are often gifted with prime views of seldom-seen birds and animals.
Unfortunately, sports enthusiasts can harm or even kill the animals they observe, simply by their interest. Coming closer to an animal to see it better usually causes an animal to run. This, in turn, uses up valuable energy and fat in the season when food is scarce and the animal needs to rest to survive. Fat is needed for metabolic fuel and to sustain body temperature in extreme cold. Unnecessary movement caused by escape from a predator in wintertime, or the fear generated by a human disturbance, speeds the loss of fat reserves and decreases the chances of an animal's survival.
For more information about wildlife, review the Fragile Winter Wildlife brochure (350kb PDF).
- Be sensitive to the needs of animals. Stop and go around them or wait for them to move. Avoid close contact with wildlife. Minimize noise.
- Help animals conserve their food supply. Avoid damaging brush, trees and grass. Little nutritional food is available in the dormancy of winter.
- Respect wildlife's privacy. Stay on established routes or trails. View birds and animals from a distance.
Animals You May See
Check local bookstores for field guides to aid you in identifying birds and mammals. Some of the creatures you may see during Washington winters include:
|Birds||Large Mammals||Small Mammals|