A cat-sized, weasel-like animal whose habitat in forests along California’s northern coast is under threat from marijuana cultivation should receive endangered species status, state fish and wildlife officials said.
The Humboldt marten — a relative of minks and otters — faces the risk of extinction after decades of trapping and forest clearing, according to a report released Thursday by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife that recommends the animal be listed under the state’s endangered species act.
Trapping is no longer allowed in California, but the marten’s habitat in California is threatened by wildfires, logging, road construction, pot grows and climate change, the report says.
Humboldt marten populations are also imperiled by exposure to toxic pesticides, which are most commonly associated with marijuana cultivation, according to the report.
The department’s recommendation now goes to the state fish and game commission, which is expected to make a decision about listing in August.