Main content area

Home Ranges and Spatial Organization of Fishers, Martes pennanti, in Central British Columbia

Weir, Richard D., Harestad, Alton S., Corbould, Fraser B.
Canadian field-naturalist 2009 v.123 no.2 pp. 126-132
Martes pennanti, animals, females, habitats, home range, landscapes, least squares, males, models, radio frequency identification, British Columbia
We described the size and spatial arrangement of aggregate and seasonal home ranges for 17 radio-tagged resident Fishers (Martes pennanti) that were >1.5 years old in two areas of central British Columbia during 1990-1993 and 1996-2000. We estimated home range size for each Fisher from the 95% isopleth of the utilization distribution generated using a fixed kernel model with smoothing selected by least-squares cross-validation (95% FK). For comparison to previous studies, we also calculated the minimum convex polygon estimate of home range size (MCP) for each animal. The aggregate home ranges (95% FK) of female Fishers (mean = 37.9 km², SD = 18.5, range = 10.5 – 81.2, n = 11) were significantly smaller than those of males (mean = 161.3 km², SD = 100.0, range = 46.0 – 225.2, n = 3; P = 0.019). We observed minor overlap among 95% FK home ranges of Fishers of the same sex, but considerable overlap among home ranges of males and females. Home ranges (95% FK or MCP) that we observed in central British Columbia were larger than those reported elsewhere in North America, particularly for males. We suggest that the distribution of resources for Fishers may occur at lower gross densitiesin central British Columbia than in other portions of the Fisher’s range and that suitable habitat in which Fishers can establish home ranges is not found uniformly across the landscape.