By: Michael Holzrichter
Also known as
Why they are endangered
Salmonid species on the west coast of the U.S. have experienced dramatic declines in abundance during the past several decades as a result of various human-induced and natural factors. There is no single factor solely responsible for this decline, given the complexity of the salmon species life history and the ecosystem in which they reside.
Why it is important Ecologically
The Chinook salmon is an important keystone species of the Pacific Northwest. It is a vital food source for a diversity of wildlife, including orca whales, bears, seals and large birds of prey. Chinook salmon is also prized by people who harvest salmon both commercially and for sport.