Oregon Vesper Sparrow

Photo by Marissa Gibson

Oregon Vesper Sparrow
(Pooecetes gramineus affinis)

The Oregon vesper sparrow is a subspecies of vesper sparrow. It has a restricted breeding range that includes southwestern British Columbia, western Washington, western Oregon, and northwestern California. Due to loss and degradation of habitat, risk of stochastic events, and disturbances during the nesting season, this subspecies is now in danger of extirpation in Washington. Oregon vesper sparrows are listed as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) under Washington’s State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP). SGCN-classified species include both those with and without legal protection status under the Federal and State Endangered Species programs. The species’ federal listing status is currently under review.

CPOP and the Species-Specific Working Groups
The Cascadia Prairie-Oak Partnership (CPOP) is an ecoregional group that brings together conservation-focused professionals that represent state, federal, and local governments, military, conservation groups, and other entities interested in prairie-oak conservation. CPOP was created to increase coordination between these groups in order to promote conservation action, leverage funding, and expand recovery efforts. The Oregon Vesper Sparrow Working Group has been meeting informally for several years but officially first convened in 2024 and will continue to meet annually to discuss and prioritize recovery actions.

What is an Action Plan and what is its purpose?
Each CPOP working group maintains an Action Plan, a document that lists the ‘next best tasks’ that can be taken to improve the status of the species and ranks the highest priority actions. Each year at the annual meeting the list is updated to reflect completed work, new opportunities, and changes in urgency. The Action Plan is meant to encourage dialogue and consensus among the group as well as to inform entities that work with conservation policies and funding, such as US Fish and Wildlife Service, regarding the actions that are priorities to support the recovery of the Oregon vesper sparrow.

Conservation Status

Federal (US): Under Review

State of WA: Endangered

State of OR: Species of Concern

Click here for Oregon vesper sparrow documents in the Technical Library