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Despite reintroduction, fishers to remain on endangered list

In this Friday, Dec. 2, 2016, photo, a Pacific fisher takes off running after being released into a forest at Mount Rainier National Park, Wash. Pacific fishers, forest-dwelling weasel-like mammals whose numbers have declined in the West Coast over the decades, are slowly making a comeback in Washington state. The fisher was among 10 captured days earlier in British Columbia, and then released Friday as part of a multi-year effort to restore them to their historic range. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

PORT ANGELES, Wash. (AP) - The rare, weasel-like fisher will remain on Washington state's endangered species list, despite signs that it's making a comeback since being reintroduced.

The Peninsula Daily News reports that the state Fish and Wildlife Commission voted 6-0 Friday to retain state-specific protections for the small mammal following a meeting in Port Angeles.

Fishers are native to Washington but were wiped out by the middle of last century through over-trapping and habitat loss. They were listed as endangered in the state in 1998, but have been reintroduced in Olympic National Park and in the South Cascades.

Hannah Anderson, who manages Fish and Wildlife's Listing and Recovery Section, says the state is on its way to "an unparalleled conservation success" with the fishers, but taking them off the endangered list will take a little more time.

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