Thursday, May 17, 2012


The fisher (Martes pennanti) is a species of mammal from the mustelid family. It resembles many species of marten but it is slightly larger. Its name is derived from many languages, one of them being Latin. They are rated as 'Least Concern' by the IUCN.

Physical Features
The fisher is a cat-sized animal with lustrous fur. The underside of its body have white or light brown patches. Like most species from the mustelid family, the coloration of the fur depends on seasons and gender. Fishers greatly vary in size. The length of their body ranges from 16 inches to 30 inches (40.6cm to 76.2cm) excluding the tail. The average length of their tail is 14 inches to 17 inches (35.5cm to 43.1cm). Males are normally bigger than females. Males weigh about 4.5 kilograms while females weigh about 2 kilograms. Sometimes males can weigh 9 kilograms but it is very rare.

The fisher is mainly carnivore, but will feed on anything. Their diet mainly consists of the snowshoe hare, porcupines and other small rodents. They are solitary hunters. Therefore, they will only feed on animals that are smaller or equal to its size. Fishers also eat fruits, nuts, mushrooms, small mammals, birds, insects and eggs. Pieces of deer and moose have also been found in the stomach of these animals.

Distribution and Habitat
The fisher is found in Northern US and Canada. Their range extends till the mountainous regions. Fishers prefer to live in forest and swamp woodlands.

After a gestation period of 352 days, a female fisher will give birth to a litter of 1 to 5 pups per year after the spring season. Females mature at the age of 1 year while males mature at the age of 2. The live for 10 years in captivity and wild.

Conservation Status
The fisher is rated as 'Least Concern' by the IUCN. There are several thousands of individuals in North America. Fishers are protected in some US states.

Source of pic 1

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