fisher

(Pekania pennanti)

Conservation Status
fisher
Photo by Dan W. Andree
  IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

     
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

The fur (pelage) is dark brown to nearly black with white-tipped hairs over the head and shoulders giving it a frosted appearance.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Total length: 29 to 47

Head and body: 20 to 25

Tail: 13 to 15

 
     
 

Sign

 
 

 

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Deciduous, coniferous, and mixed forests with low or closed canopies

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Behavior

 
 

 

 
     
 

Lifespan

 
 

10 years

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

 

 
     
 

Food

 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

15, 24, 29, 30, 76.

 
  3/8/2021      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Relatively common in northeastern Minnesota

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Class Mammalia (mammals)  
  Subclass Theria  
  Infraclass Eutheria (placentals)  
  Magnorder Boreoeutheria  
  Superorder Laurasiatheria  
  Order Carnivora (carnivores)  
  Suborder Caniformia (dog-like carnivores)  
 

Family

Mustelidae (weasel, mink, badger, martens and others)  
 

Subfamily

Guloninae (wolverines, martens, and tayras)  
 

Genus

Pekania  
       
 

Recent DNA studies have suggested that the traditional arrangement of family Mustelidae into two subfamilies based on morphological differences is invalid. Under this arrangement, the subfamily Mustelinae is polyphyletic (derived from more than one evolutionary ancestor.) Two molecular phylogenetic analyses in Sato et al (2004) and Koepfli et al (2008) suggest separating the family into eight subfamilies. Under this scheme, martens are placed in the subfamily Martinae. This suggestion has not been widely adopted. The latter study also strongly suggests that the fisher should be placed in its own genus Pekania. This suggestion has been widely adopted. Fisher was formerly classified as Martes pennanti. It was reclassified as Pekania pennanti, and is now the only species in that genus.

 
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

Some authorities recognize three subspecies. Others consider the species monotypic (having only one immediately subordinate taxon.)

 
     
 

British Columbia fisher (Martes pennanti columbiana)

fisher (Martes pennanti pennanti)

Pacific fisher (Martes pennanti pacifica)

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Martes pennanti

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

fisher

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Pelage

The coat of a mammal, consisting of fur, wool, or hair, and including a soft undercoat and stiff guard hairs.

 

 
 
Visitor Photos
 
           
 

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Christa Schwen

 
 

Trail Cam

 
    fisher      
 

Alisa Hornberg

 
 

Caught on trail cam

 
    fisher      
 

Dan W. Andree

 
 

It seemed curious about me and only got anxious when it wanted to come down out of the tree.

I was below and it got a little nervous and started making these little chuckling sounds so I backed away and it came down the back of the tree peeking around keeping an eye on me and then scampered off away into the woods. I did not seem threatening at all.

  fisher  
           
    fisher   fisher  
 

Jamie Waltzing

 
 

Trail camera Photo.

 
    fisher      
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
 

 

 
           
           

 

Camera

     
 
Slideshows
 
Fisher
NYS Zoo
  Fisher  
Fishers 14 Sept 2015
Rob Fowler
  Fishers 14 Sept 2015  
     

 

slideshow

       
 
Visitor Videos
 
       
 

Share your video of this mammal.

 
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Attach a video, a YouTube link, or a cloud storage link.
 
 

Dan W. Andree

 
  A "Fisher" in a tree.
Published on Jan 16, 2015
 
   
 
About

Fishers are members of the weasel family. They sometimes get a bad rap as a vicious, dangerous animal. While they can be vicious in surviving in the wild they usually are not a threat to humans. I am in their territory a lot and have followed their tracks in winter and yet have only seen them a few times. This fisher got a little anxious wanting to come down out of the tree, so I backed off and let him down. He had sat there peacefully for several minutes not minding me at all.

   
       
 
Other Videos
 
  Fisher (Pekania pennanti)
WildlandsTrust
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jun 21, 2011

Fisher seen outside the Wildlands Trust office in Duxbury, MA

 
  Fisher "Pekania pennanti"
zeekyblast
 
   
 
About

Published on Aug 19, 2012

This is by far my best Fisher video to date. Taken two hundred feet from the house. Mather Creek Drainage, Fieldbrook, California. 8-19-2012, 8:00 am

 
  IMG 0171
Stan Rullman
 
   
 
About

Published on Sep 4, 2014

Fisher (Pekania pennanti) in our yard near Cedar Pond.

 
  Fishers (Pekania pennanti) 14 Sept 2015
Rob Fowler
 
   
 
About

Published on Sep 21, 2015

This pair (mother and kit; id'd by an expert on Fishers) was found by Elias Elias along the Arcata Ridge Trail in Arcata, Humboldt County, CA. Northwestern CA generally supports a decent population of Fishers but most of them are found inland, not along the coastal slope like these two were.

 
  Fisher at bait
Dave Bonta
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Feb 25, 2011

Game cam footage of a fisher (Pekania pennanti) on Brush Mountain in Central Pennsylvania, an area where fishers had been extirpated for over a hundred years.

 
       

 

Camcorder

 
 
Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

Report a sighting of this mammal.

 
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Be sure to include a location.
 
  Tim Kirkman
4/6/2021

Location: Carver County / Hollywood Township

I had one run across our farm's orchard in broad daylight. Seemed to be heading toward a nearby marshy area.

 
  Christa Schwen
4/19/2020

Location: Ogilvie, MN

Trail Cam

fisher

 
  Joy Kemple
4/7/2020

Location: Twin Valley

I seen one run right through my front yard at about 7 Am . I live about a mile north of the Dam in Twin Valley. It was very plump and running towards the turkey farm. I noticed that I don't have rabbits running all over the place anymore like I used to have. And there was a porcupine spotted in my tree last fall and I sure hope he got it. I also noticed that I did not have one mouse in my house this year or my Barn Bldg. and I didn't put out any Poison only traps and only caught one mouse in a trap last fall. And it seems the squirrels all disappeared also, which is a good thing because they were getting out of hand. I don't have any pets but lots of deer hang out in my yard and wild turkeys were hanging out here last fall but maybe the Fisher had a good Thanksgiving...he looked really fat. I will try to get a picture of him tomorrow morning if he comes back. 

 
  Alisa Hornberg
9/24/2019

Location: Homer Valley, Winona County

Caught on trail cam

fisher

 
  Dan W. Andree

Location: I filmed and photographed this fisher a few years or so back in the woods along the Wild Rice River in Norman Co. Mn.  They do exist there today as I have seen tracks in the snow and occasional glimpse near a water hole in the woods in summer since.

It seemed curious about me and only got anxious when it wanted to come down out of the tree.  I was below and it got a little nervous and started making these little chuckling sounds so I backed away and it came down the back of the tree peeking around keeping an eye on me and then scampered off away into the woods.  I did not seem threatening at all.  

fisher

 
  Jamie Waltzing
8/1/2017
7:25 AM

Location: East of Miltona MN, south of Rose City. This is the approximate intersection: County 68 and Willow Road

Trail camera Photo.

fisher

 
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
 

 

 

 

 

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