Mazama Pocket Gopher Slated To Join Endangered Species List

Dec 10, 2012

For the third time this fall, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to add a Northwest meadow critter to the endangered species list. This time, it's the Mazama pocket gopher. But, the listing is fairly limited.

The Mazama pocket gopher
Credit Kim Flotlin, FWS / Wikimedia Commons

The Mazama pocket gopher burrows under meadows and prairies from northern California to Washington. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service examined the animal's status in western Washington and found four geographically isolated populations in danger of extinction. The agency's Washington state manager, Ken Berg, predicts limited consequences for this endangered species listing.

"I don't believe that this proposed listing should be that disruptive since many people have been working to solve this problem for more than a decade," Berg says.

Leaders of the Thurston County Chamber of Commerce, Port of Olympia and the conservative non-profit Freedom Foundation are concerned about future limits on development. They hope to prevent this listing from being finalized.

The Fish and Wildlife Service wants to list the pocket gopher as threatened in Thurston and Pierce County, Wash., only.

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network