Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service
  
Treesearch

Research & Development Treesearch

 
Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Northern
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help
 

Science.gov - We Participate


USA.gov  Government Made Easy


Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.
20090-6090

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (914.0 KB bytes)

Title: Patterns of natural and human-caused mortality factors of a rare forest carnivore, the fisher (Pekania pennanti) in California

Author: Gabriel, Mourad W.; Woods, Leslie W.; Wengert, Greta M.; Stephenson, Nicole; Higley, J. Mark; Thompson, Craig; Matthews, Sean M.; Sweitzer, Rick A.; Purcell, Kathryn; Barrett, Reginald H.; Keller, Stefan M.; Gaffney, Patricia; Jones, Megan; Poppenga, Robert; Foley, Janet E.; Brown, Richard N.; Clifford, Deana L.; Sacks, Benjamin N.;

Date: 2015

Source: PLOS ONE 10(11): e0140640

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Wildlife populations of conservation concern are limited in distribution, population size and persistence by various factors, including mortality. The fisher (Pekania pennanti), a North American mid-sized carnivore whose range in the western Pacific United States has retracted considerably in the past century, was proposed for threatened status protection in late 2014 under the United States Endangered Species Act by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service in its West Coast Distinct Population Segment. We investigated mortality in 167 fishers from two genetically and geographically distinct sub-populations in California within this West Coast Distinct Population Segment using a combination of gross necropsy, histology, toxicology and molecular methods. Overall, predation (70%), natural disease (16%), toxicant poisoning (10%) and, less commonly, vehicular strike (2%) and other anthropogenic causes (2%) were causes of mortality observed. We documented both an increase in mortality to (57% increase) and exposure (6%) from pesticides in fishers in just the past three years, highlighting further that toxicants from marijuana cultivation still pose a threat. Additionally, exposure to multiple rodenticides significantly increased the likelihood of mortality from rodenticide poisoning. Poisoning was significantly more common in male than female fishers and was 7 times more likely than disease to kill males. Based on necropsy findings, suspected causes of mortality based on field evidence alone tended to underestimate the frequency of disease-related mortalities. This study is the first comprehensive investigation of mortality causes of fishers and provides essential information to assist in the conservation of this species.

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

XML: View XML

Citation:


Gabriel, Mourad W.; Woods, Leslie W.; Wengert, Greta M.; Stephenson, Nicole; Higley, J. Mark; Thompson, Craig; Matthews, Sean M.; Sweitzer, Rick A.; Purcell, Kathryn; Barrett, Reginald H.; Keller, Stefan M.; Gaffney, Patricia; Jones, Megan; Poppenga, Robert; Foley, Janet E.; Brown, Richard N.; Clifford, Deana L.; Sacks, Benjamin N. 2015. Patterns of natural and human-caused mortality factors of a rare forest carnivore, the fisher (Pekania pennanti) in California. PLOS ONE 10(11): e0140640.

 


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.