OLYMPIA, Wash. - The Northwest may have another species listed as endangered. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Monday proposed listing the Mazama pocket gopher as threatened in the South Puget Sound region of western Washington. This is the third time this fall the government has moved to protect a critter that depends on dwindling Northwest prairies or coastal grasslands. Correspondent Tom Banse reports from Olympia.
The pocket gopher gets its name from its cheek pouches, used to collect food. You’re unlikely to see the little furry, tunnel diggers since they rarely show themselves in daylight. You have a much better chance of stumbling over the dirt mounds they leave behind on open fields and meadows in western Washington and Oregon’s Willamette Valley. It is terrain the Mazama pocket gopher often shares with a dwindling songbird and a rare butterfly. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service state manager Ken Berg says development and habitat loss imperil all three prairie dependent species.
Continued at NW News Network, which first reported this story.
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