Fisher: Reintroduction and Monitoring
In 2008 and 2009, Washington's National Park Fund provided a total of $60,000 to support monitoring the reintroduced fisher population in Olympic National Park. About the size of a house cat, fishers are members of the weasel family. They're closely related to mink, otter and marten. They are native to the forests of Washington, including the Olympic Peninsula, but vanished from the state decades ago due to over-trapping in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
The goal of the project was to release a total of 100 fishers into Olympic National Park over a three-year period starting in 2008. Each of the animals released was fitted with a tiny radio transmitter to allow biologists to track their movements and activities as the fishers settled into their new habitat. Results of this monitoring will not only add to scientists' understanding of fisher in the ecosystem, but will be used to refine and adjust future releases within the park. In spring 2009, biologists passed a milestone by finding multiple fisher litters. By July of 2010, biologists were actively tracking 55 fishers.
Learn more about this truly collaborative effort and read the most recent report.
Check Olympic National Park's website for more fisher information.