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Federal Officials Consider Protections For Fishers

Fisher (Pekania pennanti), the carnivorous mustelid that co-evolved with porcupines
(U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 5)

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.

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