Monthly Archives: January 2012

New juvenile fisher

Today we captured a new juvenile fisher near Hwy 32! This is the 5th juvenile female fisher captured this year (2011-2012), and the 9th total juvenile. She was collared with a VHF transmitter and we will begin tracking her as much as possible in the near future. This is exciting news because thus far 6 fishers have been documented to have died on our project. Capturing 9 juveniles that are independent of their mother’s and surviving indicates that at the least we have replaced those deaths with fishers born on the study site. This is one indication that the populations may be stable or even growing.

Currently we are tracking 24 animals with VHF transmitters and another 9 with Argos satellite (PTT) transmitters. Capturing, collaring and following many animals is important to improve our understanding of what habitat requirements they have and how that is influencing our incipient population.

-ANF-

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Winter wonder land

The first major winter storm we’ve had since November is upon us. So far we’ve gotten a few inches of snow at the lower elevations of the study site, but maybe quite a bit more up high. This makes the roads and conditions difficult and so not many telemetry points being taken right now. it does allow us to work on data entry and analysis a bit more, and with the upcoming meeting of the The Wildlife Society it is not a bad thing. A positive aspect is that we can do some snow tracking of fishers when the weather is bit nicer. It is always fun to follow fishers for a while.

-ANF-

It can get deep quickly

FIsher tracks in the snow

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40 fishers have been released

-Dec 23 2011-

After three years of much discussion, thinking and hard work  we have finally finished moving our target number of fishers (24 females and 16 males).  We have taken fishers from many places in Northern California on publicly and privately managed lands. Fishers have been released in Deer Creek, Butte Creek and and the West Branch of the Feather River. These represent 3 distinct and important watersheds that occur on the Stirling district. Our goal in releasing fishers in these diverse and widely distributed areas are to place fishers throughout much of the district, allow them access to varied land cover types, and to avoid placing them in the established home ranges of animals that have already been released (this was primarily a concern in years 2 and 3). Fishers often do not stay in the areas we released them in, but to a large degree they have settled over a large portion of the Stirling district. After 2 years of study we know fishers occur in all the major water sheds located on the Stirling district and in lots of diverse areas and elevations (ranging from 2000 to 6000 feet).

A lot of people and groups have made this happen and it has been an interesting and fun group to work with. It is clear that we could not have gone as far as we have without all those contributions.

Now that the work of moving animals to Stirling is over we will concentrate our efforts on the animals that have been moved and their offspring. In addition, we still have lots to learn about what areas they prefer and how this affects the success of the reintroduction and what that information tells us about what fishers need. It promises to be a lot of fun!

-ANF-

Roger waiting for male F605B to leave the box

Kevin releasing male 18AA5 (fisher is on left side of picture)

Aaron letting a fisher go

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Fisher Symposium at TWS

It’s that time again!  The annual meeting of the Western Section of the Wildlife Society is being held at Woodlake Hotel (formerly the Radisson) in Sacramento, CA from the 1st through the 3rd of February.

As a special bonus, there will also be West Coast Fisher Symposium from the 31st of January – 1st of February (brainchild of our own Scott Yaeger).  Link to the symposium flyer can be found here.  The format will break from the traditional “project update” and instead invited speakers have been asked to address key questions during a presentation and then join an audience/panel discussion.  This is a great opportunity to interact directly with the researchers (besides, we’ll all be there!).  We hope you can join us as we present and discuss varying conservation concerns relating to fishers!

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39 down and 1 to go (more fishers released today)!

We’re 3 years into the project, and we’ve nearly released all our fishers.  We attracted a good group, with several dozen participants to help us loose 4 of the final 5 animals to SPI’s Stirling tract in the Northern Seirras east of Chico on the 8th of December, 2011.  We have released 39 animals to date.  We were fortunate to receive a good bit of attention from the media; take a look!

Contra Costa Times

Chico Enterprise Record

San Francisco Chronicle

Chico 12 News

We were also very happy to have the woodshop class from Anderson High School in Anderson, CA come out to participate.  They were kind enough to use some of their time last fall to build cubbies onto 40 live-traps that we put into service late last year.  THANKS!

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