Rare Pacific Fisher Den Found in Yosemite National Park
For the first time in the history of Yosemite National Park, a den of a Pacific fisher has been located within the park. A female fisher recently moved her kits (young) from their natal den where they were born in Sierra National Forest into a maternal den in Yosemite. This female will likely move her kits 2-3 more times to different maternal dens during the next two months.
Fisher are elusive and more challenging to detect compared to other carnivores, but recent studies confirm that the fisher is indeed rare and inhabits the park at very low population densities. The discovery of this female's den is the result of a successful collaboration between the National Park Service and the UC Berkeley Sierra Nevada Adaptive Management Program (SNAMP) Fisher Project. NPS involvement is funded through the generous support of the Yosemite Conservancy, the Wilderness Society, and the Aspenwood Foundation.
The Pacific fisher once ranged from British Columbia, south through Washington, Oregon and northern California, and reached their most southern extent in the Sierra Nevada. The decline of the fisher across its range has led to its current status as a candidate species for listing as threatened or endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act.
The park is monitoring the fisher's movements and may institute temporary road closures in the park to protect the Pacific fisher and her kits. In addition to road closures, Yosemite manages for the fisher by retaining important components of its specialized habitat, such as snags, large old growth trees, and downed logs. For more information about the Pacific fisher visit www.nps.gov/yose/naturescience/fishers.htm.
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