Protect Threatened Martens From Extinction

Target: Valerie Termini, Executive Director of the California Fish and Game Commission

Goal: Get the dwindling population of Humboldt martens on the endangered species list.

Deforestation in California due to logging, development, and cannabis cultivation has led to significant habitat loss for the Humboldt marten. This adorable mammal has declined in population so significantly that it was thought at one point to be extinct. Fewer than 400 are estimated to remain in California and Oregon, yet the Humboldt marten has not been classified as endangered nor afforded the protections that come with that classification.

The Humboldt marten is a small weasel-like relative of the mink residing in the mature forests of northern California and southern Oregon. Only four isolated populations remain, each with fewer than 100 martens. This is largely due to the threats to the Humboldt marten’s habitat. Fragmentation or loss of habitat for the martens has resulted from significant deforestation from logging operations, road development, and cannabis grows. The martens also contend with toxic exposure to pesticides used in marijuana growing, vehicular traffic and potential collisions, and larger predators such as bobcats.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has recommended an endangered species classification for this dwindling population, but it is the California Fish and Game Commission that must make this determination. Protections under an endangered species designation would begin immediately and include more stringent environmental review of development in Humboldt marten habitats. California must begin action now to prevent further habitat loss and threats to the marten population. Sign the petition to urge the commission to list this species as endangered and get the Humboldt martens the protection they need.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Ms. Termini,

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has recommended endangered species status for the Humboldt marten. With fewer than 400 Humboldt martens remaining in the wild, it seems like a no-brainer for the California Fish and Game Commission to make this determination. California needs to take action soon on this dwindling population or risk losing the Humboldt martens forever.

Deforestation from logging, cannabis farming, and other development has severely threatened the Humboldt marten’s forested habitat. Scientists estimate that less than 5% of their historical range remains. Even though trapping is illegal, these small mammals are still threatened by this habitat fragmentation, vehicular collisions, and predators. They even face exposure to toxic pesticides from cannabis farming.

Federal protections for the Humboldt marten are nowhere in sight. Even if the species were to be considered for federal protections, the process is so lengthy that to date, scientists estimate that 42 species have gone extinct waiting on the candidate list for an endangered designation. Even then, the current administration is unlikely to take regulatory action in protecting this threatened species. Although the California considers this animal a “species of concern,” this comes with no regulatory protections. California needs to act immediately to protect the Humboldt marten from extinction. Place the Humboldt marten on the endangered species list immediately.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Neil McIntosh

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