[Young Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit kits in the WSU Arboretum & Wildlife Conservation Center.]

Wildlife Viewing in the Arboretum & Wildlife Conservation Center

During spring, summer, and early fall, the Arboretum provides a number of unique opportunities to view several animal species being studied by wildlife scientists at Washington State University. The WSU Bear Center is located on the edge of the Arboretum and provides visitors with the chance to observe the behavior of grizzly bears and young cubs close up. In addition, the Endangered Species Program, the Wild Ungulate Facility, and the Pygmy Rabbit Recovery Project may be available for tours during special events, such as Mom's Weekend and Dad's Weekend at Washington State University. Check the schedule of special events at the Arboretum to see when these tours are scheduled.

But even when these special research facilities are closed to the public, the careful observer walking through the young WSU Arboretum will have a chance to observe a large number of wildlife species that already call the Arboretum home. The Arboretum already has Red-tailed and Ferruginous hawks nesting in mature timber on its grounds. Hawks are common year-around, but they are especially abundant on the Arboretum landscape during fall and winter. Both Great-horned and Barn owls are found here as well. A wide variety of small birds also use the shrub thickets and grasslands.

One of the public facilities that will be constructed in the early stages of Arboretum development is a bird observatory - a site that allows people to sit quietly in a blind with a camera and watch and photograph birds attracted to a feeding station in the woods.