Wildlife advocates are asking Montana officials to ban trapping along much of the state’s border with Idaho to protect a cat-sized predator living in old-growth forests.
Representatives of five environmental groups said in a petition submitted Tuesday to Montana wildlife commissioners that trapping is a serious threat to the Northern Rockies fisher.
The fanged predators that feed on porcupines once ranged across at least five states.
They’re now limited to an area straddling the Montana-Idaho border.
Federal wildlife officials say at least 100 of the animals were killed in Montana between 2002 and 2016.
Idaho prohibits trapping fishers, but 86 were killed by trappers accidentally in that time period.
Federal wildlife officials in 2017 said fishers were not in danger of extinction despite worries about habitat loss and trapping.