Along mossy, shaded forest creeks in western Oregon and Washington State, these predatory beetles hunt and scavenge for insects and other small animals among the rocks.

In their forest habitat, logging can damage waterways and threaten life in and along the water. But there are no direct conservation programs for this small, sensitive species. Sometimes, however, protections for one species can afford some protection for others in the same habitat.

In this case, salmon swim in waters near these ground beetles, and there are federal and state regulations aimed at trying to protect the fishes. In Washington State, government ecologists require loggers to keep broad stands of trees along the edges of salmon streams. These buffer zones may shield the beetles’ streamside haunts from some logging impacts.

Johnson’s waterfall ground beetle
Pterostichus johnsoni
About 0.7 inch (17 mm)
Sensitive (oregon–washington)
Ecological Role
AMNH Specimen Number
AMNH_IZC 00292136
Oregon, U.S.