Creature Feature

Creature Feature – Fisher Facts

Posted by  //  February 10, 2020  //  Articles, Creature Feature

The fisher is a member of the weasel family.  It was nearly eradicated by early settlers, but has made a strong comeback.  Reaching 43” in length, it’s not nearly as large as people believe, with a long, bushy tail accounting for a third of its length.  Its thick fur is varied shades of brown, with darker points on the rump and tail. A low-slung body, partially retractable claws and hind limbs that can rotate 180 degrees allow the fisher to climb up and down trees fast enough to overtake a squirrel.  Nocturnal, secretive and shy, it’s rarely seen by people. It doesn’t hibernate, nor does it have a home den.  

After mating in the spring, the female fisher experiences a 10-11 month delayed implantation.  The embryo implants the following spring and develops in just 6 weeks. Kits are born helpless and remain reliant on their mother for 4 months.   

Contrary to the nickname “fisher cat,” it doesn’t fish, nor is it a feline.  The fisher hunts small mammals like rabbits, squirrels and rodents, but also eats reptiles, amphibians, insects and fruits.  It’s one of the few mammals that can kill a porcupine. Fisher attacks on small pets are uncommon, but not unheard of. Where properties border woodlands, supervision of pets and domestic fowl is wise, especially at night.   

Article by Margie Manthey
Photo by  Tammy Nash

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