Working for a wild future for Northwest carnivores.



Mammalian carnivores, from big cats to gray wolves, are often apex predators that help regulate prey populations and have profound effects on ecosystems. Most carnivores also live at naturally low densities and need large, secure areas of connected habitats to survive in sustainable numbers.

The Pacific Northwest hosts an invaluable assemblage of rare carnivores, including wolverines, cougars, Canada lynx, Cascade foxes, gray wolves, fishers and—maybe one day again soon—grizzly bears. More common carnivores, like black bears, coyotes, and badgers, are sometimes seen by keen-eyed hikers or citizens who co-exist with these animals on a daily basis. Due to its interconnected wild spaces and largely intact ecosystems, the Northwest is one of the only regions in the contiguous US still capable of supporting a full suite of native carnivores.

But carnivores in the Pacific Northwest—as throughout the Lower 48—suffered a long legacy of persecution in the 19th and 20th centuries. This historical blow was compounded by habitat loss and fragmentation, with many populations drastically reduced in number. Some species, such as wolverines and wolves, were once driven to regional extinction and are still in the process of recovery. Canada lynx maintain a tenuous foothold in the North Cascades and are at risk of being lost in the future if fires continue to decimate their habitat. And the unpredictable and complex challenges posed by climate change are a new threat to wolverines and other wildlife.

Woodland Park Zoo’s Northwest Carnivore Science and Conservation Program spearheads scientific research, public education, and community engagement directed at restoring native carnivores and enhancing our ability to coexist with these important animals. Under the leadership of Dr. Robert Long, this program works to address critical conservation questions pertaining to Northwest carnivores inhabiting wild, semi-urban, and even urban areas.




Northwest Carnivore Monitoring

Wildlife Camera Network NW

Washington Wolverine Project

Olympic Marten Project


Otter Spotter

Our Mission

Woodland Park Zoo saves wildlife and inspires everyone to make conservation a priority in their lives.

Land Acknowledgment

Woodland Park Zoo recognizes that these are the lands of the Tribal signatories of the Treaty of Point Elliott. We acknowledge their stewardship of this place continues to this day and that it is our responsibility to join them to restore the relationship with the living world around us.

Humane Certification
Seattle Parks & Recreation
Association of Zoos & Aquariums

5500 Phinney Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98103   |  206.548.2500  |