Report What You See!

Striped Perch

Most of the San Juan Islands are very small, uninhabited, or poorly surveyed. Discoveries of previously undocumented animals and plants continue to be made by non-professional researchers—such as the first collection of fairy shrimp (Anostraca) from island wetlands by middle school students in 2009. If you live in the islands, or visit the islands to explore our natural areas, you may also be able to add to our knowledge of island ecosystems!

First, check here for a list of some of the animals and plants that we are actively studying and always want to hear about, wherever you may see them in the islands.

Here are some of the ways that you can let us know if you see an unusual animal or plant in the San Juan Islands that you either cannot identify, or that you think may not yet have been documented as living in the islands:

  • Send us an email (click here for instructions and email link) with an attached photograph. Photographs, with notes on the date and place of your find, are indispensable for identification of your discovery.
  • For "red tides," algal blooms, and any other unusual marine phenomenon call 360-468-4869 and leave a voice message with your call back number and the nature and location of what you saw. A volunteer will respond and may collect a sample.
  • If your find is a dead animal (see our acceptance policy below), please freeze it in a plastic bag marked with the date and location, and send us an email so that we can arrange to pick it up from you, or receive it at one of our offices in the islands.
  • If you are a sport fisherman we gladly accept fin clips from Blackmouth and Kings caught in San Juan Archipelago waters. Bag, mark and freeze like other specimens. Special coolers are located outside the doors of our Lopez and Eastsound offices.

Volunteer Bruce Hall

If you encounter an injured or sick animal, your first call should be for veterinary help:

  • Marine Mammal Stranding Network 1-800-562-8832 for seals, porpoises, whales.
  • Wolf Hollow Wildlife Rehabilitation Center 360-378-5000 for anything else.

Acceptance policy. Living animals or plants should not be disturbed or collected; please take a picture instead and report them to us, so that we can make a site visit! Kwiáht only accepts specimens that were dead when discovered. This includes road kill and cat kills, as well as animals that were inadvertently killed in traps lawfully set for other purposes. If you encounter an injured or sick animal, please call Wolf Hollow at 360-378-5000 for pick-up and veterinary help; they will share information with Kwiáht.

See also:

Priority List of Species