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USFWS Wants Info|On Rare Weasel

WASHINGTON (CN) - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service requests information on the Northern Rocky Mountain population segment of the fisher, a rare member of the weasel family, as the agency has determined there is sufficient evidence that the animal may need to be protected under the Endangered Species Act.

The thick soft fur of the fisher, a relative of the mink, has lead to diminished populations. For a century, its habitat has been destroyed by logging, and its prized fur has been collected by trappers.

The Defenders of Wildlife, Center for Biological Diversity and others have petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for protection of what they believe to be a distinct population segment of the rare carnivore.

The fisher's Northern Rocky Mountain range includes parts of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming.

The agency now begins a full status review.

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