Occurrence and Distribution of Fishers (Pekania pennanti) in the Central Aspen Parklands of Alberta

Posted on Apr 15, 2014


Gilbert PROULX and H. Loney DICKSON

Correspondence: Gilbert Proulx, Alpha Wildlife Research & Management Ltd., 299 Lilac Terrace, Sherwood Park, Alberta, T8H 1W3, Canada. Email: gproulx@alphawildlife.ca

Received 17 March 2014 – Accepted 15 April 2014


We re-investigated the occurrence and distribution of Fishers (Pekania pennanti) released in the Elk Island National Park – Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area – Ministik Lake Bird Sanctuary complex in the early 1990s. From March to November 2013, we set remote cameras in deciduous forests in areas where Fishers were originally released, and in surrounding natural reserves up to 60 km from the original release sites. We confirmed the presence of Fisher in 95 videos which corresponded to at least 6 different individuals. Fishers are still present in the original release areas and have expanded northward 20 km. The success of the translocation program is likely the result of releasing numerous (65%) females and large adult males from different populations in several locations. Choosing a large, contiguous “forested island” within this otherwise agricultural landscape also contributed to the release success. This study shows that it is possible to re-establish Fishers in ecosystems that have been affected by agricultural and urban developments, as long as large, contiguous areas of forested habitats are maintained and protected.

Key Words: Alberta, Aspen Parklands, Fisher, Pekania pennanti, Remote Cameras, Translocation.



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