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


  • Richard D. Weir Artemis Wildlife Consultants, 4515 Hullcar Road, Armstrong, British Columbia V0E 1B4
  • Alton S. Harestad Department of Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6
  • Fraser B. Corbould Peace/Williston Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program, Suite 325, 1011 Fourth Avenue, Prince George, British Columbia V2L 3H9




Fishers, Martes pennanti, home range, spatial organization, 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.