Oregon Fisher Recovery Project
Fishers were once widely distributed across the forested portions of western Oregon. Today, fishers occupy approximately 15% of their former distribution between the west slope of the Oregon Cascades and the Pacific Ocean. The reintroduction of fishers to suitable, formerly-occupied portions of their historical range have contributed to significant range expansions in New England and the Great Lakes regions. Preliminary results from the reintroduction of fishers to Washington and California indicate that populations are becoming established, and that these actions are necessary for recovering fishers in the West Coast. The establishment and persistence of a reintroduced population of fishers to the Oregon Cascades will be contingent on a sustained, collaborative partnership between state and federal agencies, tribal communities, private-industry partners, academic institutions, and conservation stakeholders.
We collaboratively investigated the feasibility of reintroducing fishers in Oregon and concluded that unoccupied portions of the historical distribution of fishers in the southern Oregon Cascades could support a reintroduced fisher population (Matthews et al. 2021). We are working with partners to further investigate potential levels of predation and competitive pressure on fishers as well as available prey resources necessary to meet energetic needs.