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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

December 11, 2012 at 10:08 AM

Western Wash. gopher proposed for protection; Tacoma gopher already extinct

A Mazama pocket gopher. The government has proposed listing four subspecies of the Mazama gopher as endangered. (Photo / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

The Associated Press

The federal government has proposed listing four subspecies of the Mazama pocket gopher for endangered species protection.

The Mazama pocket gopher is a species of small mammal that lives in prairie habitats in Washington and Oregon. They spend most of their time underground in tunnels, where they forage on grasses and forbs, and rarely surface.

In an in-depth piece today, The News Tribune in Tacoma notes the proposed protection of the subspecies, but also points out that the Tacoma pocket gopher is already extinct.

The four subspecies proposed for endangered species protection exist solely in Washington. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also proposed Monday to designate 9,234 acres of critical habitat for the gophers in western Washington.

The proposal is open for public comment for 60 days.

Comments | More in Environment, General news | Topics: extinct, pocket gophers, protection

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