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North American Animals - mamals, birds, reptiles, insects

 Fisher (Martes pennanti)




Fisher | Martes pennanti photo
Fisher asleep at Rosamond Gifford Zoo, Syracuse, New York.

Photograph copyright: Kitt Amaritnant - all rights reserved. Used with permission.  (view image details)

FISHER FACTS

Description
The Fisher is brown or dark brown with black legs and tail. There is sometimes a cream patch on the chest. The feet have five toes with retractable claws. They are solitary animals and are active by day and night.

Other Names
Fisher Cat, Black Cat, American Sable

Size
Length: males 90cm - 120cm; females 75cm - 95cm. Tail length: males 37cm - 41cm; females 31cm - 36cm.Weight: males 3.5kg - 5kg; females 2kg - 2.5kg.

Environment
coniferous forests, deciduous forests, mixed forests. Prefer areas with tree hollow trees for their dens.

Food
small-to-medium-sized rodents, rabbits, hares, squirrels, birds, and shrews. Also feed on some fruit and berries, and carrion. Fishers are one of the few animals able to kill Porcupines. They attack the face where there are no quills, and when the animal is weakened roll it over to get at the unprotected underside.

Breeding
One to six young are born after a gestation period of 11-12 months (average litter is 3). The young are reared in a den - often in a tree hollow. The young are blind and nearly naked at birth, weighing about 40 grams. The eyes open after about 53 days and are weaned after 8 to 10 weeks.

Range
North America, from the Sierra Nevada of California to the Appalachians of West Virginia and Virginia

Classification
Class:Mammalia
Order:Carnivora
Family:Mustelidae
Genus:Martes
Species:pennanti
Common Name:Fisher


Relatives in same Genus
  American Marten (M. americana)