Fish and Wildlife
Suggested Citation: Kerr, Andy. 2000. Oregon Desert Guide: 70 Hikes. Seattle: The Mountaineers Books. pp. 49-50.
Wildlife habitat is as diverse as the plant communities in the Oregon Desert. Even the sometimes monotonous-looking tall sagebrush-bunchgrass communities, as common and uncharismatic as they may first appear, are vital to 145 wildlife species for reproduction and feeding (and what's more important than sex and eating?).
Government scientists have inventoried at least 341 species of terrestrial (nonaquatic) species of wildlife, including 244 birds, 71 mammals, 18 reptiles, and 8 amphibians.'
Some charismatic megafauna have been extirpated from the Oregon Desert. Steens Mountain used to be home to wolf and grizzly bear (and could be again). Lynx and wolverine may or may not still be on the mountain.
Numerous wildlife species are in decline in the Oregon Desert. This trend can be reversed.