Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fisher decline documented in California

Date:
July 6, 2011
Source:
Wildlife Conservation Society
Summary:
Researchers have reported a 73-percent decline in the density of fishers -- a house-cat sized member of the weasel family and candidate for endangered species listing -- on the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation in northwestern California between 1998 and 2005.

Two fisher kits being weighed by researchers on California's Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation. A WCS study documented a region-wide decline of these important predators.
Credit: WCS

The Hoopa Valley Tribe, in cooperation with the Wildlife Conservation Society and the University of Massachusetts, reported a 73-percent decline in the density of fishers -- a house-cat sized member of the weasel family and candidate for endangered species listing -- on the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation in northwestern California between 1998 and 2005.

The scientists speculate that changes in prey habitat, disease, and increases in predation -- especially by bobcat -- may be responsible for the population decline observed on the reservation. However, additional efforts are needed to determine trends in fisher populations and expand monitoring to other regions.

The study appears in the June edition of the online journal The Wildlife Society Bulletin. Co-authors on the study include Sean M. Matthews of WCS, J. Mark Higley and J. Scott Yaeger of the Wildlife Department of Hoopa Tribal Forestry, and Todd K. Fuller of the University of Massachusetts Department of Environmental Conservation.

Study data were collected using a mark-resight method, where fishers were captured, ear-tagged to identify individuals, and subsequently photographed at remote camera stations.

Study authors also report that different methods currently used by scientists to evaluate populations of fishers can produce different results and lead managers to ill-informed conclusions about population status. Mark-resight methods have long been held as the gold standard of wildlife population monitoring, yet are costly and labor-intensive.

WCS Conservation Biologist Sean Matthews said, "It is critical to understand the status of a population when making decisions about species conservation. Our study further demonstrates the importance in monitoring populations of imperiled species and the limitations of some methods in detecting large changes in population size."

Mark Higley, the Hoopa Tribe's wildlife biologist, said, "For the study of at-risk or sensitive populations, defensible, large-scale occupancy estimation or mark-recapture methods should be used to monitor changes in populations and to determine trends. Snapshots in time such as the two presented in the paper, give us some important insights, but do not tell the whole story. Long term demographic and occupancy monitoring studies may allow for modeling cause and effect factors such as changes in habitat, climate change, disease exposure, and increases in larger predators. These data are a cornerstone in evaluating extinction risk, identifying population-level threats, and determining the success of conservation measures."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wildlife Conservation Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sean M. Matthews, J. Mark Higley, J. Scott Yaeger, Todd K. Fuller. Density of fishers and the efficacy of relative abundance indices and small-scale occupancy estimation to detect a population decline on the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation, California. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 2011; 35 (2): 69 DOI: 10.1002/wsb.19

Cite This Page:

Wildlife Conservation Society. "Fisher decline documented in California." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110705132851.htm>.
Wildlife Conservation Society. (2011, July 6). Fisher decline documented in California. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110705132851.htm
Wildlife Conservation Society. "Fisher decline documented in California." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110705132851.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) An 8-year-old boy is bitten in the leg by a shark while vacationing at a Florida beach. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A new study claims a set of prehistoric T-Rex footprints supports the theory that the giant predators hunted in packs instead of alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

AFP (July 24, 2014) Health and agriculture development are key if African countries are to overcome poverty and grow, US software billionaire Bill Gates said Thursday, as he received an honourary degree in Ethiopia. Duration: 00:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins