Feds: Fishers in Rockies may need protection

They need old growth forests for survival

My wife and I were fortunate enough to see a fisher as we were driving over Lolo Pass a couple of years ago. This is one of the few areas where fishers still have a native population in the Rockies and, according to the press release, they are genetically distinct from other populations. There have been several attempts at re-establishing them to other areas with limited success.

The decision to move forward is a result of a petition rather than a lawsuit.

Feds: Fishers in Rockies may need protection
By MATTHEW BROWN – Associated Press

Fishers in Rocky Mountains, Rare Forest Mammal, Closer to Winning Endangered Species Act Protection
Defenders of Wildlife, Friends of the Clearwater, Center for Biological Diversity press release



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  1. Virginia Avatar

    Ken – thank you so much for posting these articles regarding the devastation that trapping, habitat loss and other human activities have wreaked on the fishers, wolverines, etc., etc. etc. The fish and wildlife service can study these issues to death, but waiting a year or so to decide whether to list them and then deciding that listing is just not warranted because the oil and gas companies don’t think so. Just as they did with the sage grouse, the pocket gopher and the rabbit.

  2. steve c Avatar
    steve c

    I regularly box-trapped fishers less than 10 miles from Boston MA as an undergrad. We were told that they were not supposed to exist anywhere near where we were capturing them but they did in a highly fragmented urban area with no old-growth forests (one trap was 30 yards from a major highway behind a mall). Could they just be so hard to study/see/get population counts on that their population is highly underestimated?

  3. Carl Avatar

    Re-introductions of fishers have worked well in the midwest and northeast. The animals appear to be more adaptive than we once thought, they are showing up in farm country that has scattered woodlots and wooded river corridors. The species continues to expand its range in the east and is now even found in Rhode Island. The species has been so successful in the UP of Michigan and Wisconsin that they are causing problems for goshawks. Few goshawk nest are successful do to predation of fisher.

  4. SEAK Mossback Avatar
    SEAK Mossback

    Fishers have recently been moving into our area of Southeast Alaska — they had previously not been recognized as native anywhere in the state. They appear to be coming down river valleys out of British Columbia as are cougars, another new species in the state. Apparently, fishers are unlikely to reach high numbers in the coastal area because we have fewer snowshoe hares, their primary food, but they are taking some porcupines (which seem very abundant and slaughter many 200-300 year old hemlocks every year at a rate that appears to the eye to be unsustainable). One wildlife biologist friend said he found two porcupine skins laid out with what appeared to be fisher sign around them.

  5. Mike Avatar

    Fishers are neat animals. I’ve seen them in the Upper Penninsula of Michigan crossing old two tracks. They are bigger in person.