Following up with Cedar Creek's fishers

Wildlife biologist Michael Joyce investigates the population dynamics and habitat use of a Minnesota predator belonging to the weasel family.
June 10, 2024

Picture a wolverine. Shrink it to half its size — and there you have a fisher. Fishers are closely related to martens and weasels and have historically lived in northern Minnesota. However, in the last 25 years, Minnesota's fisher populations have reduced by about half. Remaining populations have spread from their historic range into the southern part of the state. 

Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) wildlife biologist Michael Joyce is conducting research at several sites across Minnesota, including at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, to understand how and why fisher population dynamics are fluctuating within and outside of their core range. “These days, we’ve been seeing them succeed in areas we wouldn’t typically expect,” says Joyce. To understand their movement and habitat use in any given area, Joyce and his team capture fishers using X and outfit them with fancy GPS collars. The team members then use radio telemetry devices to live-track the collared fisher’s location.

Follow along with Michael Joyce and his team as they look for a female fisher his team collared and released earlier this winter. — Adara Taylor

Fisher release video and photos of fisher kits in trees goes to Ben Wymer. Trail camera photo and video credit goes to Cedar Creek: Eyes on the Wild as well as the the Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI).