Federal Officials Consider Protections for Cat-Like Predator
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Federal wildlife officials are considering new protections for a small, fanged predator that lives in remote, old-growth forests in the Northern Rockies.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Monday that it will conduct a 12-month review to determine if the Northern Rockies fisher should be protected under the Endangered Species Act. The agency rejected protections for the cat-like animals in 2011. Officials changed course after receiving new details on the accidental trapping of fishers in a 2013 petition from advocacy groups.
Wildlife advocates say the species historically occupied a Western range that stretched across parts Washington, Utah, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. They're now limited to an area along the Montana-Idaho border. The fisher remains relatively abundant in parts of the Midwest and New England.