- Associated Press - Monday, December 15, 2014

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) - Recognizing that people are busy around the holidays, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is giving people an extra month to comment on a proposal to protect the Pacific fisher under the Endangered Species Act.

The agency announced Monday that the new deadline for public comments is February 5.

A larger cousin of the weasel, the Pacific fisher lives in forests of California, Oregon and Washington.

One of the key threats to its survival has been illegal marijuana gardens where growers put out lots of rat poison to kill animals that eat their crops. The fishers eat wood rats that have eaten the poison, and get poisoned themselves.

Other threats include loss of forest habitat to wildfire, logging and urban development, disease, other predators, illegal fur trapping and climate change.

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