Fisher Sightings

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Fisher Sightings

Post by Admin on Fri Feb 27, 2015 2:00 pm

The SSRA Executive received a call the week of 23-27 February 2015 concerning several unconfirmed sightings of a Fisher in the community.

Residents are advised to take normal precautions with their children and pets appropriate to the likely presence of a variety of wildlife. Cat owners should be aware that their animals may be at risk should they be allowed to roam the community during the hours of dusk and dawn.

American Martins, Weasels and Fishers are native to Southern Ontario and are similar in appearance, except for size. Fishers are the larger species ranging in size from 8-13 lbs versus the American Martin which may be 1 to 3 lbs.

Fishers are known to live and hunt in dense old-growth forest but will venture into more open terrain when food sources become scarse, usually in late winter. Fishers prefer continous overhead foliage cover greater than 80% and will avoid areas with less than 50% cover. Since the community would definately fall into the less than 50% cover category, it is unlikely that a Fisher would remain in the area for long.

Fishers are curious animals and will explore around peoples houses, climb onto decks and have been known to look into windows as was mentioned in the report to the Executive. Apparently this behaviour is not unusual and should not cause undue alarm. Late last fall a raccon climbed onto my deck to watch me through the kitchen window. I also spotted a raccon near the Sandhurst school about a week ago, so it's possible that someone may have seen a raccoon at night and thought that it was a Fisher.

Fishers are carnivours and generally eat rodents, rabbits, squirrels, birds and a variety of berries. They prefer hares and porcupines, but have been known to eat cats when other food sources are scarce. I could find no specific reports of Fishers eating dogs, since all the articles simply use the term "pets". Not to say that they wouldn't, but it is unlikely that a Fisher would attack a dog in daylight given that Sandhurst has plenty of squirrels and rabbits that remain active all winter long.

Fishers are solidary hunters and are most active at dawn and dusk. At this time of the year they are active only about six hours a day.

The Executive will explore the option of setting a live-trap to capture and relocate the animal. A killing trap requires a trapping licences under Ontario law so we will not explore that option. The Executive will study the Sandhurst map to find a suitable area that may provide a covered route, restricted movement toward the trap, and cover to hide the trap. Should you come across a trap in the area, please do not disturb the bait or closing mechanism.

Executive Chairman
Friday 27 February 2015

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Fisher Sighting - UPDATE

Post by Admin on Wed May 13, 2015 12:01 pm

After seeing Paul's photo's of the fisher that visited his house this past winter, I spotted a dead fisher about two km north of Hwy 33 on County Road 21 that had been hit and killed. It was the same size and colour as the one in Paul's photos and likely a male given it's size. Since male fishers do not cross into one anothers territory, there is a very high probability that this is the same animal.

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