SAVING THE PACIFIC FISHER
Despite its name, the Pacific fisher doesn’t eat fish or live by the ocean. In fact, this shy, plush-furred member of the weasel family inhabits lower-elevation, closed-canopy forests and munches on everything from birds to small mammals to fruit. The fisher is the only animal tough and clever enough to prey regularly on porcupines — no easy feat. But thanks to historical trapping and extensive logging and development in the West Coast’s mature and old-growth forests, the Pacific fisher is now in danger of extinction.
Although Pacific fisher trapping was outlawed in the 1940s, logging and development have decimated the large blocks of forest the species needs to thrive. And because the fisher doesn’t fly or live in the water, its recovery requirements aren’t sufficiently addressed by management plans like the Northwest Forest Plan, designed primarily to benefit the spotted owl, marbled murrelet and salmon. In 2007, the Center published Species of Concern in the Tillamook Rainforest and North Coast, Oregon, a report documenting the status of more than 200 imperiled species in the Tillamook and North Coast — which showed that the Pacific fisher had been eliminated from the area.
In a tide-turning victory for the Pacific fisher and 756 other government-neglected plants and animals, in 2011 the Center reached a settlement with the Fish and Wildlife Service to move forward on protection decisions for all of them. Under our agreement, the fisher’s U.S. listing proposal is due in 2014.
|Photo courtesy of Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife||HOME / DONATE NOW / SIGN UP FOR E-NETWORK / CONTACT US / PHOTO USE /|