Climate change threat: Mount Rainier white-tailed ptarmigan

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes listing a bird found in the North Cascades as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. That’s due to the likelihood that climate change will shrink its high-elevation habitat throughout the state. The Mount Rainier white-tailed ptarmigan is found in the Cascade Mountains from southern British Columbia to southern Washington. They are one of few animals that spend their entire lives on mountaintops. They move seasonally between snow-covered habitat and summer alpine meadows. As temperatures continue to warm, the region’s snowpack will decline. Alpine meadows may also be at risk as conditions move tree lines to higher elevations.