© 2022 | Jefferson Public Radio
Southern Oregon University
1250 Siskiyou Blvd.
Ashland, OR 97520
541.552.6301 | 800.782.6191
KSOR Header background image 1
a service of Southern Oregon University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Furry Forest Creature Won't Get Federal Protections

Its populations were first damaged by trapping and logging, and more recently faced a threat from rat poison used by illegal marijuana farms in Southern Oregon and Northern California.
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
/
Its populations were first damaged by trapping and logging, and more recently faced a threat from rat poison used by illegal marijuana farms in Southern Oregon and Northern California.

A weasel-like creature that lives in northwest forests will remain unprotected. Thursday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said it won't list the fisher as an endangered species. That decision could affect the animal's population across the west.

TRANSCRIPT

Fishers look like a cross between a mink and wolverine, and they have some unique traits:

Werntz: "They're among the few that are able to find a meal in a porcupine."

DaveWerntzis with Conservation Northwest.

The cat-sized animal has struggled across the west for more than 60 years. But just a few years ago,Werntzand others reintroduced the fisher in Washington and saw the species rebound.

That's one reason the federal government decided not to list West Coast fishers as endangered. ButWerntzsays the same recovery work isn't happening in Oregon and California, where fishers struggle.

Read: Illegal Pot Farms Are Poisoning Fishers

Werntz: "The lesson isn't that since everything is fine in Washington, that everything is fine on the West Coast. And I think the federal government missed an opportunity to help recover fisher across their entire range."

He says Washington's success is great, but it only happened because organizations stepped up to do the recovery work.

Copyright 2016 KUOW

Paige Browning
Year started with KUOW: 2015