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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Friday, March 23, 2012

Is the rare Western Fisher a denizen of Glacier National Park?.........A new study is to commence using bait stations and camera traps to determine if the elusive Fisher still calls Glacier home......Old growth woodlands with significant horizontal cover is the habitat that this "porcupine specialist" covets..........Unfortunately, Porcupines are themselves a rare sight in the Park so that raises the odds against there being a Fisher population..............However, in Olympic National Park in Washington State, a Fisher reintroduction program has so far been successful with the Fisher Cats dining on squirrels, beavers and birds in the absence of "Porkies"

Glacier National Park fishers to be counted


Every year, Glacier National Park biologist John Waller gets about a half-dozen reports from people who claim to have seen a fisher in the park. But the reports don't come with photos. A few years ago Waller tried setting up some "hair traps" in the park in hopes of snaring some fisher hair in wire brushes, but to no avail.

Now the park will give it one last go. Through a $20,000 grant from the Glacier National Park Fund, a park-wide fisher survey using bait stations and camera traps will try to, once and for all, see if there are truly any fishers in Glacier National Park.

The fisher is a cousin to the pine marten and the wolverine. It's larger than a marten, although its fur is usually darker. Fishers have a long tail and a mink-like appearance - they're about the size of a cat.
The park study will take place in winter months to avoid conflicts with bears, Waller noted. The fisher inhabits old-growth forest and likes large trees and downed timber. They're known as a porcupine specialist - one of the few animals adept at killing and eating the spiny creatures.

Glacier National Park was home to many porcupines in the 1950s. The Hungry Horse News once prominently displayed a vehicle surrounded by a cage to keep porcupines away. Porcupines like to chew on salty tires and brake lines of vehicles.But in recent decades, porcupines have dwindled in the park, and sightings of them are few and far between.

Waller said he doesn't hold much hope for finding fishers. He cited years of wolverine studies in the park using bait and camera traps that never turned up a fisher when the two species' habitats overlap.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the National Park Service and the U.S. Geological Survey has an ongoing effort to reintroduce fishers in Olympic National Park, in Washington. To date, about 90 fishers have been released in there. The animals were live-caught in British Columbia and transported to the park from 2007 to 2010, said Kurt Jenkins of the USGS.

Jenkins said the new population has shown signs of settling in, and fishers are denning and showing natural reproduction. Olympic National Park, however, doesn't have porcupines. The fishers there eat snowshoe hares, squirrels, mountain beavers and birds, Jenkins said


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