In honor of Biodiversity Day (May 22) and World Turtle Day (May 23), Friends highlighted two vulnerable animal species that call the Columbia Gorge home with specially created animations.
The American Pika is a small, but resilient, furry mammal found in the cold, rocky slopes of the Columbia Gorge. Due to their unique habitat needs, however, Gorge pika populations are sensitive to climate change. Over the past decade, Friends of the Columbia Gorge has worked to strengthen regional climate resilience policies to help ensure the Gorge remains a healthy and vibrant place for the wildlife and people that live there.
Western pond turtle
The western pond turtle, the last freshwater turtle remaining on the West coast, is vulnerable to habitat loss and invasive species. In 2018, Friends of the Columbia Gorge Land Trust acquired Turtle Haven—a special land preserve designed to create new protected habitat for turtle reintroduction efforts.