The Pacific Fisher Story...

Fishers are forest-dwelling mammals in a family that includes weasels, mink, martens, and otters. They are about the size of a large house-cat and are light brown to dark blackish-brown. The fisher has a long body with short legs and a long bushy tail.

Its range was reduced dramatically in the 1800s and early 1900s through trapping, predator and pest control, and alterations of forested habitats brought about by logging, fire, urbanization and farming.


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PACIFIC FISHER (Pekania Pennanti)

The fisher (Pekania pennanti) is a member of the weasel family, similar to but larger than the marten.

Diet

Fishers eat snowshoe hares, rabbits, rodents and birds, and are one of the few specialized predators of porcupines. Fishers are effective hunters, but are also known to eat insects, nuts, and berries when prey is not available.

Population

Fishers are common in the Northeast and Midwest, but rare in the Northern Rockies and Northwest, where they are one of the rarest carnivores.

Range

Historically, the species ranged the northern forests of Canada and the United States as well as forests in the Appalachian, Rocky and Pacific Coast Mountains. Today, fishers are found only in parts of their historic range. The West Coast population of fisher (Pekania pennanti), the subject of this action, is found only in Southern Oregon, Northern California and the Southern Sierra Nevada Mountains.,

Behavior

Fishers prefer large areas of dense mature coniferous or mixed forest and are solitary animals. They are mainly nocturnal, but may be active during the day. They travel many miles along ridges in search of prey, seeking shelter in hollow trees, logs, rock crevices, and dens of other animals.

Reproduction

Mating Season: April.

Gestation: Egg implantation is delayed till February or March of the next year, following which is a 30-day gestation period.

Litter Size: 1-4 kits. The kits remain with their mother until the fall.