Science update: Fisher distribution

Our July #SuperSnap was all about fishers, and we’re just going to keep on rolling on the fisher train! This science update was inspired by recent comments on a photo of a fisher in central Wisconsin. The location of the photo might cause confusion if you base where fishers *should* be on the range map we have posted. The map shows fisher range extending to only the very northern part of the state:


Whereas we’ve seen fishers on Snapshot Wisconsin cameras in counties pretty far south:


In the case of a species like fisher, which was reintroduced to Wisconsin in the 1950s and expanded its range quickly, static distribution maps go out of date quickly. This brings up a larger point about range maps being inaccurate because they are based on old, incomplete or faulty data. We provide range maps to give volunteers an indication of where they are more likely to find a certain species, but these maps are by no means perfect. The fact that we do not have very good statewide data on the distribution of most species is indeed a major reason for starting a project like Snapshot Wisconsin!

Note that the above map shows counties where we’ve seen Snapshot Wisconsin photos correctly classified as fisher. Many of the gray counties do not have any Snapshot Wisconsin cameras and so we do not have any photos there yet. This is not to say there are no fishers in the gray counties!

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About Christina Locke

Researcher and program coordinator for Snapshot Wisconsin.

5 responses to “Science update: Fisher distribution”

  1. Mary Elizabeth Mirasola says :

    Hi Christine, I live in the Town of Delton and just this AM observed a Fischer crossing a field across the road from my home in pursuit of a group of turkeys. 4/18/19. Mary


  2. Wendy Mueller says :

    Fisher on trail cam in Waushara county several times over the last few months.


    • Mary Sue Braun says :

      We just saw a fisher in Waushara county on Monday June 1st at around 7:30 pm. A big raptor bird (maybe a large hawk) startled us by swooping down low in front of our car right as this fisher scooted across the road. It looked like the bird was hunting it down so it may have become dinner once it passed into the brush.


  3. Ron Piarowski says :

    We have a house on Big Hills Lake near Wild Rose and Wautoma in Waushara County and have seen a fisher in our woods several times, including yesterday. Trying to catch it on a trail cam


  4. Jon says :

    I think I have one on trail camera in portage county


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