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Oregon bans trapping of rare weasel-like Humboldt marten

Oregon has banned the trapping of an extremely rare weasel-like creature in coastal areas critical to its survival.

Posted: Sep 16, 2019 10:49 AM
Updated: Sep 16, 2019 11:00 AM

By GILLIAN FLACCUS Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission has voted to ban the trapping of a rare weasel-like creature in coastal areas critical to its survival.

The 4-3 vote taken late Friday would impose a trapping ban west of the Interstate 5 corridor to protect the fewer than 200 coastal Humboldt martens left in the state.

The rules also ban all commercial and recreational marten trapping in Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area and all traps and snares suspended in trees in the Siskiyou and Siuslaw national forests.

"If any species needs our help, it's the Humboldt marten, so it's great that the state has finally taken an important step to protect them," said George Sexton with KS Wild, an environmental group based in southern Oregon.

The carnivorous Humboldt marten is about the size of a kitten and is related to the mink. It has sleek brown fur, pointy ears and a sharp nose. It lives in coastal forests in southern Oregon and northern California and is so rare it was thought to be extinct until a remote camera snapped a picture in the redwoods in 1996.

Genetic studies then revealed that Oregon's coastal martens are part of the Humboldt marten subspecies and are a different subspecies from the martens in the Cascade Range, which are not imperiled.

California banned coastal marten trapping in 1946 and protected Humboldt martens as endangered in 2018. They are under consideration for listing as a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Coastal Humboldt martens are threatened by cars that speed along Interstate 5, by logging and increasingly by wildfires and rodent poison that's used in southern Oregon marijuana grows.

Conservation groups sued the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife when the agency didn't act on a petition to ban trapping by November 2018.

The groups argued the delay had the potential to wipe out the remaining coastal population of Humboldt martens.

A settlement reached earlier this year required the state to hold a rule-making hearing on the environmentalists' petition before the trapping season begins in November.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 132412

Reported Deaths: 1799
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah28237458
Washington18512171
Marion16085238
Clackamas11577138
Lane8219108
Jackson686284
Umatilla670968
Deschutes490736
Yamhill316245
Malheur312452
Linn310246
Klamath242238
Polk241340
Josephine170633
Jefferson168725
Benton168414
Douglas166643
Union110416
Wasco106323
Columbia103318
Lincoln98517
Hood River94821
Coos93315
Morrow92710
Clatsop6695
Crook60410
Baker5665
Tillamook3622
Curry3185
Lake2295
Grant2131
Harney1734
Wallowa963
Gilliam481
Sherman470
Wheeler201
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California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2955323

Reported Deaths: 33342
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles100392313741
San Bernardino2482851560
Riverside2352352517
San Diego2098972065
Orange2093652320
Santa Clara914661060
Kern83547558
Sacramento802791080
Fresno79950932
Alameda65679757
Ventura59061412
San Joaquin56484748
Contra Costa50627430
Stanislaus41925739
Tulare40176501
Monterey34959249
San Mateo31291294
San Francisco28574254
Imperial24944463
Solano24654105
Santa Barbara23538228
Merced23492296
Sonoma23204234
Kings18661110
Placer16761173
San Luis Obispo15129128
Madera12883130
Santa Cruz11776113
Marin11345153
Yolo10240131
Shasta9594117
Butte9233121
El Dorado751544
Sutter748477
Napa723139
Lassen509413
San Benito485043
Yuba481827
Tehama397142
Tuolumne330438
Nevada309973
Mendocino307631
Amador295329
Lake243428
Humboldt226324
Glenn182419
Colusa16919
Calaveras153823
Siskiyou140813
Mono10834
Inyo92429
Del Norte8472
Plumas5735
Modoc3783
Mariposa3434
Trinity3024
Alpine730
Sierra700
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