Pacific fisher one step closer to California protection

From the Center for Biodiversity

In response to a petition and lawsuit by the Center, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife has recommended state Endangered Species Act protection for a rare forest carnivore — the Pacific fisher — in the southern Sierra Nevada part of its range.

This cat-like member of the weasel family is small, smart and tough enough to be the only mammal that regularly preys on porcupines. It was once wide-ranging, but today it exists only in two naturally occurring populations: one in the southern Sierra and another (for which the state has not proposed protection) in Northern California. All Pacific fishers have long been threatened by logging and are now also in danger from toxic chemicals used by illegal marijuana growers; the state’s Fish and Game Commission will vote in August on whether to finalize protection for one or both populations.

“All California’s fishers deserve full protection under the state’s Endangered Species Act,” said Center attorney Justin Augustine. “We hope the commission will recognize the numerous threats this species faces throughout California and protect both populations.”

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