Hair Snares/Track Plates

Track plates boxes are a monitoring tool that allows us to determine presence/absence (or simply presence/non-detection) of fishers in an area.  These coroplast boxes are rectangular shaped, with the front end open and the back end covered with wire.  The actual track plates consist of a metal sheet, approximately 2/3 covered with printer toner, and 1/3 covered with contact paper.  A piece of chicken is placed in the back of the box.  Fishers entering the box walk on the toner, and then leave prints on the contact paper.

Hair snares are used in conjunction with both remote cameras and track plate boxes, and collect valuable genetic information.  In track plate boxes, a strip of sticky tape is placed in the front opening of the box to snag a little hair from the passing animals.  With remote cameras, hair snares consist of a strip of coroplast with multiple gun brushes inserted into it.  As the fishers climb the tree to get to the bait, they brush against the gun brushes and leave hair on them.

Below is a recent poster presented at Fisher Symposium as part of The Wildlife Society Western Section meeting in Sacramento January 2013.  It shows how we can use the data obtained from hair snares and pertains to the satellite monitoring site in the Klamath region of Northern California.

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