137 Species Connected to Salmon

In a 2000 study published by Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, it described 137 species of wildlife (mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians) that were found to have an interaction with salmon at various salmon life stages.  From orcas to caddisflies, many species have an important food-web relationship with salmon.  In the technical report, the relationships to salmon were characterized as Strong/Consistent, Recurrent, Indirect or Rare.

In some cases the relationship to salmon is enough to play a role in the distribution and abundance of the prey species.  Salmon are a significant portion of the Orca diet, and are also responsible for the large congregations of some fish-eating birds such as the Common mergansers.

For others, salmon represent localized and routine opportunties of food resources, but which may vary annually and seasonally.  There are animals which feed on salmon when they are available, but which also feed on many other items as well.

Still others have a more indirect link to salmon and which may characterized at a secondary consumer level.  Animals that feed on the insects which feed on the salmon carcasses benefit from this sort of relationship.

Salmon play an important role in food-web dynamics from the forest, rivers, estuaries, nearshores, and the ocean.

2000. Cederholm, J. et. al. Pacific Salmon and Wildlife – Ecological Contexts, Relationships, and Implications for Management 2nd Edition