BC Fisher Habitat Website

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The BC Fisher Habitat Working Group has just launched a new website to assist BC forest licensees and their contractors to identify and retain important fisher habitat.  The site allows forest practitioners to download information and tools specific to their location and operational focus. The site includes: - spatial data that lets planning foresters identify habitats and retention targets for harvested areas - pictorial guides to help on-the-ground field crews identify trees and other habitats important to fishers, and - field guides to help operational staff retain fisher habitat in their day-to-day activities. The web site is also designed for use by trappers, First Nations, and other people who are interested in learning more about fisher conservation. Visit the BC Fisher Habitat Website The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation is proud to be a major funder of this extension project.   
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HCTF Visits the Cariboo

HCTF Visits the Cariboo
As part of our evaluation program to ensure HCTF funds are benefiting fish and wildlife conservation, HCTF staff regularly visit project leaders to get an in-depth look at their projects – both on paper (financials) and on the ground. In late September HCTF staff biologist Kathryn Martell and financial officer Katelynn Sander travelled to Williams Lake to conduct evaluations on two projects. The first was the Fisher Artificial Reproductive Den Box Study  led by Larry Davis of Davis Environmental Ltd. Fishers are a threatened species in British Columbia and are also the largest obligate tree-cavity user in North America. They typically use cavities in large diameter trees both for resting in winter, and as reproductive dens. Suitable den trees are rare in the landscape and impacts in many areas of the province have further reduced the availability of this habitat feature. Larry’s project seeks to determine if fishers will use artificial (man-made) den boxes for reproductive dens, as a way to augment denning habitat in areas where natural den trees have been reduced. This year of the study continued the monitoring efforts on the 56 den boxes installed during this project. Larry has been successful in attracting fishers to 50%...
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Meet the 2015 Fisher Den Box Kits

Meet the 2015 Fisher Den Box Kits
We received the following video update on the Fisher Artificial Den Box Study from biologist Larry Davis. Davis and his team are trying to determine if female fishers will use human-constructed den boxes to raise their young, as there are very few of the fisher's natural denning sites left in some areas of their range. "Fisher require large diameter trees with heart-rot cavities for reproduction," says Davis. "These trees are rare in managed landscapes."   2015 was the third year of this HCTF-funded project, and Larry and his team continued monitoring the 56 installed den boxes to see if they were being used by fishers. “We have been successful in attracting fishers to 50% of the den boxes, with many of the structures used for resting during winter," reveals Davis. "We identified 45 fisher samples using hair snaggers located at the entrance to the den boxes. Of these, 14 were identified as being unique females, with 8 of them using the structures more than once, and 4 of them detected at 2 different den boxes.” During the 2015 reproductive season, two fisher females used artificial den boxes to give birth to and raise their young. The video features footage of...
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Fisher Den Box Study: Video Update

Fisher Den Box Study: Video Update
Last November, we posted about Larry Davis’s fisher inventory project in the Bridge River watershed. Larry is currently working on a follow-up project to determine if artificial den boxes would be used by female fishers to mitigate the loss of their natural denning habitat. Larry has just sent us the following video: it starts out by providing some background on the project, and then shares some of the amazing remote camera footage of fishers (and other curious creatures) checking out the artificial dens.      This project has just been approved for a third year of HCTF funding. For more information on the study, you can contact  Larry Davis  of Davis Environmental Ltd.  
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Declining Den Sites: Finding Cavities Fit for a Fisher

Declining Den Sites: Finding Cavities Fit for a Fisher
What’s furry, fierce and likes to dine on porcupine? It’s the fisher, Pekania pennanti , a member of the weasel family that is seldom seen in the wild, but is an important part of British Columbia’s carnivore community. Despite its name, fishers do not fish and are dependent on forests for all their life history needs. The fisher is blue-listed (threatened) in BC, largely due to habitat loss. Female fishers require large diameter trees with cavities to birth and raise their young. They will only use cavities with entrance holes that are approximately 8 – 12 cm in diameter: large enough for them to squeeze into, but small enough to keep larger predators away from their kits. Den trees also need to have other trees and shrubs around them to allow the female approach her den unseen. These specific requirements (along with the fact that females usually require multiple cavities to accommodate the growing kits) make fisher populations extremely vulnerable to extirpation through loss of suitable denning habitat.   In the Bridge River Watershed, north of Lillooet, BC, fisher habitat has been impacted by the creation of two large hydro-electric reservoirs, large-scale fires, mountain pine beetle, and an ongoing history...
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