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A study in Washington and Oregon identified 138 species of terrestrial and marine mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians that feed on salmon.

Of those, nine species were so dependent on salmon their "distribution, viability, abundance and/or population status" was decided by the availability of the fish.

The nine species most reliant on salmon are: grizzly bear, black bear, bald eagle, Caspian tern, common merganser, harlequin duck, killer whale, osprey and river otter.

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The report, which had input from several U.S. government agencies, advised wildlife managers to "be aware that salmon can be viewed as the centre of a broad 'functional web' of wildlife and … thus [are]a keystone species."

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About the Author
National correspondent

Mark Hume is a National Correspondent for The Globe and Mail, based in Vancouver, writing news and feature stories on a daily basis about his home province of British Columbia. His weekly column, which often challenges the orthodoxy on environmental issues, appears every Monday. More

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