Washington State Fisher Reintroduction

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In early December, biologists released seven fishers into Washington’s south Cascades mountains. The fishers, which were captured in British Columbia, were confirmed to be in good health and equipped with radio transmitters to allow biologists to track the animal’s movements.

The reintroduction was made possible through collaboration between the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), the National Park Service (NPS), Conservation Northwest, and myriad other partners.

Previously, the organizations cooperated to restore fisher populations in Olympic National Park, where the species is now widely distributed and successfully reproducing.

Over the next two to three years, approximately 80 fishers will be released in the south Cascades on federal lands, including at Mount Rainier National Park. Releases in the north Cascades are scheduled tentatively for 2017 or 2018.

The reintroductions are funded by the National Park Service, Conservation Northwest, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, state wildlife grants, Washington state personalized license plates, and funds from other partners.

Fishers are native to Washington, including the Cascade mountain range. Members of the weasel family, fishers prey on beavers, squirrels, snowshoe hares, porcupines, and other food sources. Fishers have been listed as a state-endangered species since 1998.

The state recovery plan and the implementation plan for the Cascade fisher reintroductions can be found on WDFW’s webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/fisher/reintroduction_cascades.html.

For more information, visit http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/fisher/reintroduction_cascades.html.

source: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)