PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Oregon has banned the trapping of an extremely rare cat-like creature in coastal areas critical to its survival.
A coalition of environmental groups on Monday said the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission voted 4-3 for a trapping ban west of Interstate 5 to protect the fewer than 200 Humboldt martens left in the state.
The Humboldt marten is related to the mink and lives in coastal forests in southern Oregon and northern California.
Conservation groups had sued Oregon when it didn’t act to ban trapping last fall.
The groups said the delay had the potential to wipe out the population.
Oregon’s martens live in two isolated groups in the Siskiyou National Forest and the Siuslaw National Forest.
Coastal martens are proposed for protection as “threatened” under U.S. law.