Mazama pocket gopher proposed for protection

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - The federal government has proposed listing four subspecies of the Mazama pocket gopher for endangered species protection.

The Mazama pocket gopher is a species of small mammal that lives in prairie habitats in Washington and Oregon. They spend most of their time underground in tunnels, where they forage on grasses and forbs, and rarely surface.

The four subspecies proposed for endangered species protection exist solely in Washington. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also proposed Monday to designate 9,234 acres of critical habitat for the gophers in western Washington.

The proposal is open for public comment for 60 days.