Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Stable fisher population found in the Southern Sierra Nevada

Date:
January 28, 2013
Source:
USDA Forest Service - Pacific Southwest Research Station
Summary:
After experiencing years of population decline on the West Coast, a recent study examining fisher populations found that -- at least in the southern Sierra Nevada -- the animal's numbers appear to be stable.

After experiencing years of population decline on the West Coast, a recent study examining fisher populations found that -- at least in the southern Sierra Nevada -- the animal's numbers appear to be stable.

Scientists from the U.S. Forest Service's Pacific Southwest Research Station (PSW) and the Pacific Southwest Region collaborated to monitor the distribution of fishers across a 7,606-square-mile area in the southern Sierra Nevada. They used baited track-plate stations -- an enclosure where the fisher leaves a sooted track print as it walks through -- at 223 locations across three national forests. Over an eight-year period, from 2002-2009, they found that the fisher population in the southern Sierra Nevada neither increased nor decreased.

The findings are relatively good news for the cat-sized relative of the weasel family. The forest-dwelling fisher (Martes pennanti) once lived throughout most of the mountains in northern California and the Sierra Nevada, and in the Rocky Mountains, Cascades and Coast ranges. But many populations were eliminated or declined due to commercial trapping and clear-cut timber harvesting. Fishers have been reintroduced at a few locations in the western U.S., but only two native populations -- both centered in California -- remain. The small population of fishers in the southern Sierra has been estimated, by other methods, to be approximately 250 individuals.

"This study is encouraging in that it demonstrates that we can monitor a fisher population over a large area, with simple methods," said Bill Zielinski, a PSW research ecologist who coordinated the analysis of the research data. "It is also encouraging that we did not discover a decreasing trend in the population, but eight years is a relatively short period."

Zielinski noted that given the short time period of this study, the effects of Forest Service management actions to protect fishers and their habitat cannot yet be fully assessed. Further study, over a longer time period is necessary to fully understand the efficacy of these conservation measures. Other factors unrelated to habitat, including road kill and the illegal use of rodenticides which poison the fishers, must also be considered when evaluating the population.

"We hope that we can continue to monitor the fisher, so that we can witness an increase in the population as public and private groups collaborate to institute measures to protect them from various threats," he said.

PSW statistician James Baldwin, along with collaborators Richard Truex, Jody Tucker and Patricia Flebbe from the Pacific Southwest Region, contributed to the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA Forest Service - Pacific Southwest Research Station. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. William J. Zielinski, James A. Baldwin, Richard L. Truex, Jody M. Tucker, Patricia A. Flebbe. Estimating Trend in Occupancy for the Southern Sierra Fisher Martes pennanti Population. Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management, 2012; 130110154719009 DOI: 10.3996/012012-JFWM-002

Cite This Page:

USDA Forest Service - Pacific Southwest Research Station. "Stable fisher population found in the Southern Sierra Nevada." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130128191230.htm>.
USDA Forest Service - Pacific Southwest Research Station. (2013, January 28). Stable fisher population found in the Southern Sierra Nevada. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130128191230.htm
USDA Forest Service - Pacific Southwest Research Station. "Stable fisher population found in the Southern Sierra Nevada." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130128191230.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

AP (Sep. 20, 2014) The San Diego Zoo has welcomed two Cheetah cubs to its Safari Park. The nearly three-week-old female cubs are being hand fed and are receiving around the clock care. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) Considered a "national heritage" in Belgium, chocolate now has a new museum in Brussels. In a former chocolate factory, visitors to the permanent exhibition spaces, workshops and tastings can discover derivatives of the cocoa bean. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
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