The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have announced that 11 species will be reconsidered for the Endangered Species Act. 17 species have been petitioned for the act, but after being denied the protection, the officials are thinking about considering some of them for the act. These species consist of the Rocky Mountain fisher, two beetles, seven species of skink and a species of butterfly.
The fishers have been petitioned for the Endangered Species Act since 2009. In Montana, the fishers can still be legally trapped. Between 2013 and 2014, 62 fishers have been killed, most of them for their furs. The exact number of fishers hunted each year in Montana is not known, because the state doesn’t hold records for the incidentally trapping. According to Kylie Paul, the fisher population has to be taken under federal protection, as soon as possible.
The fisher is a small carnivorous animal that can be usually found in the North of the United States. Fishers are related to otters, weasels, minks and martens. They can grow up to 47 inched and they can weigh maximum 13 pounds. They usually eat berries and small preys. The fur of the fishers is the densest and shiniest during the winter season. This species likes to spend most of its time in forests. Even though its name might suggest otherwise, the fisher rarely eats fish.
The skink species mentioned on the list are mostly found in the Virgin Islands of the United States and in Puerto Rico. They look very similar to lizards but have shorter legs and necks. They are mostly endangered by rats, mongoose and other mammals. In 2012, the skinks have been identified for the first time and the researchers have discovered that they were on the brink of extinction. The first time the skinks were petitioned for the act was in 2014. According to the scientist, around 20% of the reptiles in the world are close to being extinct.
Skinks like to dig and burrow and they spend most of their time underground, where they hide from larger predators. They even dig tunnels, in order to navigate better and on longer distances. They chase their prey and then they swallow it whole. Skinks usually build their nests under structures, in apartments found on first floors and in garages.
Among the 11 species that will be reconsidered for the Endangered Species are also the narrow-footed diving beetle, the Scott riffle beetle and the Great Basin silverspot butterfly.
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