Best of Portland 2014: Best Animals

By Kate Wilson, Willamette Week

Bugs don’t have many human allies. Mostly, they get squashed, swatted, sprayed or stuck to rolls of poisoned paper.

But, in Portland, someone wants to protect them. The Xerces Society ( pressures lawmakers to regulate the interstate transport of bumblebees, protect the tiny habitat of the caddisfly and advocate for the homes of the Salt Creek tiger beetle.

“People think of insects as pests,” says Xerces endangered-species program director Sarina Jepsen. “But they provide vital services from pollination to pest control to recycling nutrients to food for other organisms.”