Research for our natural resources inventory of Greensboro Ridge revealed much winter wildlife activity. Fisher are using the protected property, ranging across the ridge and over stream courses in their solitary, nocturnal huntfor food.
The fisher (Martes pennanti), sometimes erroneously called a “fisher cat,” seldom eats fish, nor is it a cat. Its closest relative is the pine marten; cousins include mink, otter, and weasels. The lithe brown creatures were once common throughout New England, but declined due to over-trapping, logging, and habitat loss. Trapping regulations and natural reforestation of abandoned farms enabled the fisher to rebound throughout New Hampshire.
Fisher are solitary except during the mating season. Mating occurs in March and April with a litter of 1-6 (average 3) kits born nearly a year later. Females usually give birth in a tree cavity 20-30 feet off the ground.
Fisher regularly travel 10-20 miles in search of food, moving along ridges and crossing stream valleys. Secretive and nocturnal, the fisher is a skilled predator that plays an important role in regulating populations of smaller mammals. The only predator adapted for taking down porcupines, the fisher has a stomach capable of softening up the defensive spines. The fisher is known for launching sneak attacks from high above its unsuspecting dinner. Its ankle joints can rotate 180 degrees, allowing the animal to climb both up and headlong down a tree. More about fisher
Watch this space for more about Greensboro Ridge’s wildlife – our natural resources inventory is now complete, and we’ll soon post results.