Gopher wins ESA listing based on genitalia size


SIZE MATERS: The pocket gpher is now on the endangered species list. You won’t believe why.

By Melissa Genson |

Does size really matter? According to the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife and U.S. Fish and Wildlife, it sure does.

The odd claims of state and federal officials have been enough to earn a small group of this incredibly prolific and destructive rodent an Endangered Species Act listing, based on a 36-year-old loophole in the law.

This loophole gives a local office of U.S. Fish and Wildlife broad authority over an ESA listing for a tiny cluster of species like the pocket gopher, based on some unique trait they claim to have identified, like super-sized penises. USFW does not have to provide evidence of the trait.

Here is the federal report justifying this ESA listing: Federal Register 4-9-14 Pocket Gopher

The federal government spent more than 50 years unsuccessfully trying to kill off the pocket gopher because of its enormous destruction to structures, water pipes, underground cables, trees, vegetation, and anything in its path.

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