Search News Releases

Search mode:
"and" "or"
Search in:
Recent News Releases
(Last 30 days)
All News Releases
Emergency Fishing Rule Changes
Sport Fishing Rule Changes
Fish and Shellfish Health Advisories & Closures
Marine Biotoxin Bulletin
Beach closures due to red tide and other marine toxins
Local Fish Consumption Advisories
Health advisories due to contaminants
Fish Facts for Healthy Nutrition
Information on mercury, PCBs and other contaminants in fish
News Releases Archive
Jan  Feb  Mar  Apr 
May  Jun  Jul  Aug 
Sep  Oct  Nov  Dec 
Jan  Feb  Mar  Apr 
May  Jun  Jul  Aug 
Sep  Oct  Nov  Dec 
Jan  Feb  Mar  Apr 
May  Jun  Jul  Aug 
Sep  Oct  Nov  Dec 

600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

This document is provided for archival purposes only.
Archived documents do not reflect current WDFW regulations or policy and may contain factual inaccuracies.

  Digg it!  StumbleUpon  Reddit

April 19, 1997
Contact: Tim Waters (206) 775-1311, ext. 119

Wildlife species given protected status by state Fish and Wildlife Commission

LONGVIEW -- It is illegal to kill, harm or possess the California mountain kingsnake, Washington ground squirrel, and all bats under a law passed Saturday by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission.

Commissioners, convening here for a regularly-scheduled meeting, unanimously voted to designate two small mammals and a reptile as protected species in Washington state to prevent their numbers from declining further. All three species had been afforded little or no protection under existing law. Bats found in homes and buildings are exempted under the new law.

The new law takes effect in about 30 days.

The California mountain kingsnake is non-poisonous. It is sought after by reptile lovers because of its distinct red, black and white rings. The snake, which is sometimes confused with the coral snake, presently is found only in open-forested areas in the Columbia River Gorge.

The Washington ground squirrel is one of three ground squirrels found in the Columbia Basin. The mammal can be identified by its small, white spots and black- tipped tail, and is found in the Columbia Basin. Various agricultural practices, livestock grazing and poisoning and shooting have led to the squirrel's decline.

There are 16 bat species native to Washington. The only known, flying mammal, bats are extremely beneficial because they eat enormous numbers of insects. Their numbers have decreased because of disturbances to their colonies while they are hibernating and when mothers are nursing offspring.

Under the law, people would still be allowed to control bats found in homes, workplaces or outbuildings. The law specifically states the mammal cannot be harmed, killed or in anyone's possession "except when found in or immediately adjacent to a dwelling or other occupied building."