According to the USFWS (US Fish and Wildlife Service), the fisher, a member of the weasel family, may soon be declared an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act in three states. Fishers were tracked and hunted until it was almost extinct in a number of US states.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature currently lists the fisher as an animal of “least concern” globally. In the states of California, Oregon and Washington, however, the species is threatened by rat poison utilized on many pot farms.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service admitted that they do not know “just how much of a danger is posed.” Nevertheless, they have managed to identify numerous pot farms where rat poison is currently in use.
In a press release the USFWS stated: “Rodenticide use has been verified at illegal marijuana cultivation sites within occupied fisher habitat on public, private and tribal lands in California. Although the Service does not know the full extent to which rodenticide exposure causes injury or mortality of fishers, rodenticide exposure in fishers has been documented in fisher populations in the Klamath Mountains and Southern Sierra Nevada, as well as in the reintroduced population at Olympic National Park in Washington.”
The agency will have a final ruling on their proposal to list the fisher as an endangered species by September 30, 2015. Opinions and information will be solicited from citizens, scientists and stakeholders up ‘til January 5.
Once common throughout the west, fishers were frequently hunted for their pelts. They also reportedly “suffered from widespread destruction of habitat.
In 1961 the authorities released fishers from Minnesota and British Columbia, Canada into the wilds of the Pacific Northwest region of the US thus reintroducing populations of the fisher into the country.
Feds Protect Fishers From Pot Farm Poisoning