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Fisher - Martes pennanti



 Kingdom: Animalia
 Phylum: Chordata
 Class: Mammalia
 Order: Carnivora
 Family: Mustelidae
 Genus: Martes
ICUN Redlist - World Status: Least ConcernLeast Concern


FisherThe fisher has a long body and dark brown to light brown fur. It has long claws on both its hind and front paws. Its front and hind legs are black, and it has a long, thick, black tail. It has a short muzzle and round ears on the sides of its head. The fisher is sometimes called the fisher cat, but it is not related to the cat family.


mapThe fisher is found in Canada, northern California, eastern Oregon, in the Rocky Mountains, and in New York and New England, including New Hampshire.




The fisher lives in thick coniferous or mixed coniferous and hardwood forests. It prefers habitats with lots of tree cover and lots of hollow trees for dens.


FisherThe fisher is mainly carnivorous. It usually hunts animals that are the same size or smaller than it is. Common prey of the fisher includes chipmunks, shrews, mice, voles, squirrels, snowshoe hares and porcupines. The fisher also eats insects, fruit, nuts, and carrion.

When it preys on porcupines, it attacks the porcupine's face repeatedly until the porcupine is weakened from trying to defend itself. It eats the porcupine's organs first and saves the rest of the kill to eat over the next couple of days. Fishers don't always win battles with porcupines, and they are sometimes badly injured or killed by the porcupine's quills. The fisher, despite its name, rarely eats fish.

Life Cycle

FisherFishers mate in March and April. The female gives birth 10-11 months after mating. She has one to six babies in a nest in a hollow tree. The babies are blind at birth. If the nest is disturbed, the female moves her babies.


FisherThe fisher is usually nocturnal. A fisher's home range is usually about 10 square miles and may overlap with the home ranges of other fishers. It uses scent to mark its territory. A fisher moves around its home range frequently, following well-used trails. It travels both on the ground and through the trees. The fisher makes its den in crevices, under bushes, in logs, and in trees. In the winter, it sometimes uses a den in the snow. The fisher is a very good swimmer and excellent climber.