Posted on in Recent Sightings by Hawk Mountain

A Fisher peers out from among the ferns

This secretive mammal was observed by a staff member near River of Rocks just after sunrise. The Fisher (Pekania pennanti) is a large member of the weasel family native to Canada and the northeastern United States. They are true generalists, eating what is most available to them including small mammals, birds, fruits, seeds, and some reptiles and amphibians. They are also known to be one of the few predators of porcupines, which make up a significant amount of their diet, and help to keep their populations under control.
Fishers were extirpated (declared locally extinct) from Pennsylvania in the early 1920s after a combination of unsustainable logging practices, unregulated trapping, and habitat loss pushed them from their native range. They were reintroduced in 1994 after reforestation practices provided suitable habitat, filling an important ecological role in the ecosystem once more.

Photo by John Jacobsen.