Take Action: California’s last remaining population of coastal martens, the so-called “Humboldt marten,” is so small that they were once thought to be extinct. In 1996, after 35,000 survey nights were logged using baited track plates and infrared cameras placed throughout forests in Northwest California and yielded no detections, a Humboldt marten boldly left his print on a track plate located in a remote section of Six Rivers National Forest. The Humboldt marten was alive!
Today, there are less than 100 Humboldt martens left in California. This number is so low that a single event—disease, poisoning, fire—could eradicate all coastal martens from California. This number is also so low that the species could simply drift towards extinction. Already, we have seen an alarming dip in population. Between 2001 and 2012, the remaining population of Humboldt martens has declined by 42%—and this was largely before the record-setting drought!
On February 11th, the Fish and Game Commission will determine whether to take the first step in protecting the marten under the California Endangered Species Act by deciding whether it should be a candidate for final “listing.” By declaring the marten a candidate, the Fish and Game Commission will trigger a one-year review period after which the Commission will make a final decision on whether to protect the Humboldt marten.
This is a crucial first step. Because the federal U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service failed to honor its duty to protect the marten, for which EPIC has filed suit in federal court, it is even more critical that the Fish and Game Commission move forward with protecting the marten. Listing the marten under the California Endangered Species Act will not only prohibit humans from harming the marten, but it will also open up private and government funding sources for restoration activities.
As we showed this summer in our fight to ban bobcat trapping, concerned Californians can beat industry lobbyists by speaking their minds. We need you! Click here to tell the Fish and Game Commission that the Humboldt marten deserves protection.