Fisher, rare species of weasel, makes comeback in Washington
Historically, fishers were found throughout much of the forested areas of the West Coast. However, they declined in numbers due to trapping in the 1800s and early 1900s, and also due to the loss of forest habitats.
A weasel-like mammal (fisher) was spotted recently in the thick forest of Mount Rainier National Park, where it had been missing for around 70 years.
Ten Pacific fishers, which were trapped in British Columbia, were set free at the park as a part of a multiyear effort to reintroduce the native species to its historical range.
Historically, fishers were found throughout much of the forested areas of the West Coast. However, they declined in numbers due to trapping in the 1800s and early 1900s, and also due to the loss of forest habitats. By the mid-1900s, the creatures were eliminated from the state of Washington.
The dark-brown member of the weasel family with its lush fur and bushy tail was listed as state endangered species in 1998.
- The fisher is a small carnivorous mammal native to North America.
- In some regions, the fisher is known as a pekan, derived from its name in the Abenaki language.
- It is a member of the mustelid family, commonly referred to as the weasel family.
- The species is a forest-dwelling creature. Its range covers much of the boreal forest in Canada to the northern United States.
- It feeds on a wide variety of small animals and occasionally on fruits and mushrooms. However, it prefers the snowshoe hare and is one of the few predators of porcupines.
- Fishers have been trapped since the 18th century for their fur. Their pelts were in such demand that they were wiped out from several parts of the United States in the early part of the 20th century.