British Columbia's Interior: Fisher Wildlife Habitat Decision Aid


  • Richard D. Weir
  • Pedro Lara Almuedo



denning, fisher, foraging, forest planning, furbearer, harvesting, home range, Martes pennanti (fisher), mustelid, reproduction, resting, silviculture, wildlife habitat, Richard D. Weir and Pedro Lara Almuedo


Fishers (Martes pennanti) are forest-dependent carnivores of the weasel family that are considered a Species at Risk under the Identified Wildlife Management Strategy and Species of Special Concern (blue-listed) by British Columbia Conservation Data Centre. Under the Forest and Range Practices Act, forest and range licensees in British Columbia are required to develop Forest Stewardship Plans and manage their operations to maintain limiting habitats of Identified Wildlife within their tenures accordingly. Several aspects of the ecology of fishers make them susceptible to forest-harvest activities, including their use of structural elements found primarily in late-successional forests. This Wildlife Habitat Decision Aid (WHDA) summarizes the latest scientific and experiential information that forestry practitioners, including silviculture planners and operational foresters, need to consider when managing for fisher habitat requirements. This information was obtained through an extensive literature analysis and discussions with experts in fisher ecology in British Columbia. Most information on fisher ecology in this extension note was derived from studies conducted in the Cariboo, Williston, Chilcotin, and South Peace regions.
The WHDA format has been used to convey information on factors requiring consideration when managing forests and range in British Columbia for specific wildlife species. This WHDA provides information on habitats used by fishers for birthing and rearing young, resting, and foraging; a provincial fisher distribution map and a list of biogeoclimatic zones where fishers most commonly occur; and forest management considerations when harvesting and conducting silviculture activities within fisher range. Also included is a resource and reference list that contains more detailed information. Most reference material that is not available online can be ordered through libraries.