Fisher

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Facts

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Scientific Name: Martes pennanti
Habitat: Heavy, mixed forests
Adult Weight: 4 - 11 lbs.
Adult Body Length: 25 inches
Breeding Period: March - April
Litters Per Year: 1
Litter Size: 1 - 5, average 2 - 3
Foods: Carnivore - Main diet is mice, porcupine and snowshoe hare, squirrels, birds, fruit and berries.

Notes

Fishers are dark brown, with a frost cast around the head and shoulders. Their feet and tail are black.

Fishers are found only in North America. They are a member of the weasel family, which includes mink, marten, and otter.

Fishers are excellent tree climbers. They can hunt both in trees and inside the burrows of its prey. They have retractable claws like a cat. Fishers grind their food instead of chewing it.

History

Prehistory

Although Fisher's range was in northern Ohio, archaeologists have found evidence that the Fisher lived in southwestern and south central Ohio as well.

Settlement

Fishers were found in the extreme northeastern corner of Ohio. With the cutting of the hemlock forests in the area to make room for farming, the Fisher disappeared.

Nineteenth Century

Two Fishers were killed in Ashtabula County in 1837, but by 1850 the species had been extirpated from Ohio.

Twentieth Century

Logging has severely affected the Fisher and its habitat. Fishers can be found today in dense, undisturbed mixed forests of Alaska, Canada and the northern United States. They are trapped for their thick fur.

The Fisher is a candidate for the Endangered Species List. It is currently listed as "sensitive critical."

See Also