Tracking the Fishers
Discover where fisher have been found on the Olympic Peninsula since their release in 2008-2010.
This interactive map of hexagons indicates where fisher are being sampled and found on the Olympic Peninsula. Olympic National Park monitors these sites in cooperation with other Olympic Peninsula landowners, including the Washington Department of Natural Resources, Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, Makah Tribe, Quinault Nation, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and private landowners. Each hexagon represents an area of 24 square kilometers, approximately the size of a core area used by female fishers in the study area.
To sample the fisher over such a large area, researchers, use a randomly selected starting point, and then sample every other hex. Within each hex they establish three sampling stations in suitable fisher habitat, generally forested communities in mid to late succession.
Each station contained a motion-sensing camera and a hair-snaring device for collecting DNA. The hair snare boxes are baited with chicken to attract the fisher inside. When a fisher enters a box, some of their hair snags on brushes that are attached inside. This fur is later collected and sent to a lab for DNA analysis. The DNA is used to identify the fisher, as well as provide information about its gender and lineage.
Click on a hexagon to find out when the site was sampled and what they found. Many times the visitors to the bait station were animals other than fisher. Although the wildlife cameras were set up to capture images of fisher, they also photographed more than 40 other species, including cougars, bears, deer and even a skunk.