Illegal pot grows are killing off this adorable creature. Will the state act?
Next to bush babies and koalas, the Humboldt Marten may just be the cutest little creature on earth. But California officials say he’s also at risk of extinction thanks to the proliferation of illegal marijuana grows.
State and wildlife officials are now pushing for protective status for the Humboldt marten under the state’s endangered species act. A declaration would allow for a number of protective measures halting construction and other activities that threaten the marten's habitat.
The adorable little woodland creature -- a relative of minks and otters -- was already being ravaged by wildfires, logging, and climate change. But experts say those threats have grown exponentially due to the use of toxic pesticides on the region’s many illicit marijuana farms. Rooting out illegal pot farming is something local officials have been trying to do for some time.
The department’s recommendation is now headed to the state fish and game commission, which is expected to make a decision next month.
Read more about the fate of Humboldt marten here.