Federal agency denies protections for predator

BILLINGS, MONT. - Federal wildlife officials say a cat-sized predator that lives in old-growth forests of the Northern Rockies is not in danger of extinction despite worries about habitat loss and accidental trapping.

The Trump administration on Wednesday included the Northern Rockies fisher among 25 species that officials said do not merit protection under the Endangered Species Act.

Northern Rockies fishers once ranged across at least five states. They're now limited to a smaller area straddling the Montana-Idaho border.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last year agreed to consider new protections after wildlife advocates documented at least 66 fishers accidentally killed by trappers in Idaho. The agency says a months-long review found no evidence fisher populations were in decline because of trapping, climate change, logging or other potential threats.

(by Associated Press)
 

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