A few days ago Tati located one of our females, 1E003. This normally wouldn’t be much cause for excitement, except this female had been missing for over a month. After repeated searches of her home range during this time, we were beginning to fear that her collar may have failed.
So where was she finally located? Right back in one of the drainages she frequented during the last year of tracking her.
This phenomenon of fishers disappearing and reappearing is both interesting and frustrating. Where do they go during these absences? Do they make a journey to a far off place and then return, are they just in some hard to hear spot within their normal home-range, or is their collar not functioning properly? This has happened a few other times over the last year. Last fall one of our animals on the west side of the study area went missing for a little over a month before reappearing close to where she denned up the previous spring. When a fisher goes missing, we spend quite a lot of time looking around for them, but due to rough terrain and our limited resources we cannot search everywhere.
So where do they go? Your guess is as good as mine.
It’s good to know that 1E003’s collar is still functioning. This was an animal that we were unable to trap over the fall, and so her VHF collar is only expected to survive a couple more months. We are hopeful the battery will at least last until she has (with any luck) denned up and we document kits.