09:28 PM

Pacific fisher denied #ESA protections


April 14, 2016

Contact: Catalina Tresky; (202) 772-0253, ctresky@defenders.org



U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Determines Species Does Not Warrant Listing


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (the Service) declined to list the Pacific fisher as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service completely missed the mark today by denying Pacific fishers any hope for recovery, including the fragile Southern Sierra Nevada fisher population,” said Elizabeth Ruther, Northwest representative for Defenders of Wildlife. “Defenders will continue our important work to protect and recover the species regardless of the Service’s decision.”


On February 4, 2015, Defenders of Wildlife submitted comments on the Service’s proposed rule to list the Pacific fisher. The most vulnerable fisher population is the Southern Sierra Nevada population in California. Defenders specifically focused on the SSN fisher population in its comments due to its small numbers, its geographic isolation and the threats it faces from habitat loss, toxicants, such as rodenticides, and climate change.

Fishers are a member of the weasel family. They live in dense conifer and hardwood forests and like areas with various ages of trees, large standing dead trees (known as snags), down logs, and shrubs. Fishers particularly rely on snags and downed logs for den sites that are critical safe havens to raise their young. Fishers are found across the country and are more common throughout northern forests and the East Coast.

Pacific fishers are not as common as their East Coast counterparts. (You may also read or hear Pacific Fishers referred to as West Coast fishers or as the West Coast Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of fishers.) These fishers in particular need protection to recover their numbers.

The state of Washington began a Pacific fisher reintroduction program six years ago. The first phase of the reintroductions began in 2008 when fishers were reintroduced to the Olympic National Park. This year, fishers are being reintroduced to Mount Rainier National Park and the surrounding national forests. Over the next few years they will be released into the North Cascades National Park.



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