White Oak Photo Tracy Robillard, Natural Resources Conservation Service
Pacific Birds in Oregon includes lands west of the Cascade Range. Three hundred miles of coastal habitats support millions of migratory birds. Oregon’s estuaries, including the Columbia River Estuary, Bandon Marsh and Tillamook Bay provide crucial habitat for hundreds of thousands of migrating shorebirds and wintering waterfowl. Further inland, oak habitats are among the richest wildlife habitats in Oregon and harbor many species not found in the neighboring coniferous forests.
Land use changes, changes in hydrologic and fire regimes, the introduction of invasive species and other factors have drastically reduced the habitat needed to support important stages in the annual cycle of multiple migratory and resident birds. Diking and filling has resulted in losses of 50-80 percent of the tidal wetlands in Oregon’s larger estuaries. Brant, which are particularly sensitive to disturbance, now winter in only a few estuaries, including Netarts, Yaquina, and Coos Bays.
In the near future, climate change impacts such as sea level rise will change existing habitat structure and function along the coast, creating an even greater need for collaborative conservation actions.