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Oregon Coast Voles Must Wait for Protection

WASHINGTON (CN) - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces that protecting the North Oregon Coast population of the red tree vole under the Endangered Species Act is warranted but precluded by higher priority listing actions.

The USFWS will add the North Oregon Coast population of the red tree vole to the candidate species list, along with almost 250 other species whose status the USFWS has previously determined warrant protection under the act.

The list is ranked by threat level and every year a selection of the most imperiled species are selected for protection. However new petitions for protection are considered on an equal footing with candidate species, so being on the list does not guarantee a timely listing.

The agency stopped short of finding that there was a subspecies that would be known as the dusky tree vole, on the North Oregon Coast.

Red tree voles eat conifer needles and tender conifer bark, and usually nest in mature conifer canopies.

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