Feds consider protection for Humboldt marten

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ARCATA, Calif. (AP) -- Federal biologists are considering Endangered Species Act protection for the Humboldt marten, a cousin of the weasel found in Southern Oregon and Northern California.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Wednesday that two environmental groups presented enough scientific evidence for it to formally consider whether threatened or endangered species protection is warranted.

The agency says the Humboldt marten was thought to be extinct in California until 1996, when a trail camera got a photo of one in Six Rivers National Forest in Northern California. Since then two other populations have been found in coastal mountains in Southern Oregon.

Tierra Curry of the Center for Biological Diversity -- one of the petitioners -- says logging old growth forests has destroyed habitat for the Humboldt marten, leaving fewer than 100 individuals.