Ecology of the fisher on the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation, northwestern California
smatthews “at” eco.umass.edu
Hoopa Valley Tribe
Humboldt County Fish & Game Advisory Commission
Humboldt State University, Department of Wildlife
Integral Ecology Research Center
New England Outdoor Writers Association
Patagonia Environmental Grants Program
University of California, Davis
University of Massachusetts, Amherst Natural Resources Conservation Department
University of Massachusetts, Amherst Graduate School
U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families Administration for Native Americans
U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, Arcata and Yreka Field Offices
U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, Tribal Wildlife Grants Program
U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station Redwood Sciences Laboratory
Wildlife Conservation Society
Wildlife Conservation Society Wildlife Action Opportunities Fund with funding provided by Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
The fisher (Martes pennanti ) is a house cat-sized, forest-dwelling, carnivore in the weasel family (Mustelidae). Forest management practices and over-trapping for fur during the early twentieth century resulted in population declines and range contractions throughout Washington, Oregon, and California. However, the population density of fishers in some habitats of northwestern California remained high, affording a unique opportunity to investigate poorly understood elements of fisher ecology in the Pacific states and provide recommendations for future recovery efforts. I am working with the Hoopa Valley Indian Tribe in northwestern California; a Tribe which depends on timber extraction as a significant source of income while holding fisher in high regard culturally.
Specifically, my work focuses on generating a population estimate of fisher on the reservation; quantifying fisher habitat use during resting, denning, and periods of activity at micro-site and stand levels; assessing demographic rates and denning behavior of adult female fishers; and determining the feasibility of studying dispersal behavior of juvenile fishers and of using genetic tagging as a long-term population monitoring method. These and the products of additional collaborations will fill critical information gaps in the development of a conservation assessment and strategy for fisher in the Pacific states and assist the Hoopa Tribe in increasing their capacity to achieve long-term conservation goals.
Matthews, S. M., J. M. Higley, J. S. Yaeger, T. K. Fuller. 2011. Density of fishers and the efficacy of relative abundance indices and small-scale occupancy estimation to detect a population decline on the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation, California. Wildlife Society Bulletin 35:69-75.
Gabriel, M. W., G. M. Wengert, S. M. Matthews, J. M. Higley, J. E. Foley, A. Blades, M. Sullivan, and R. N. Brown. 2010. Effectiveness of rapid diagnostic tests to assess pathogens of fishers (Martes pennanti) and gray foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus). Journal of Wildlife Diseases 46:966-970.
Fuller, T. K., S. M. Matthews, S. S. Stevens, N. D. Rayl, C. J. Zieminski, A. R. Whiteley, P. R. Sievert, J. F. Organ, and M. W. Gabriel. 2010. (Book Review) Noninvasive Survey Methods for Carnivores. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 46:1055-1058.
Greenleaf, S. S., S. M. Matthews, R. G. Wright, J. J. Beecham, and H. M. Leithead. 2009. Food habits of black bears as a metric for success and directing future management of human-bear conflict in Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California, 2001-2002. Ursus 20:94-101.
Beckmann, J. P., L. Karasin, C. Costello, S. Matthews, and Z. Smith. 2008. Coexisting with Black Bears: Perspectives from Four Case Studies Across North America. Wildlife Conservation Society Working Paper No. 33. Wildlife Conservation Society, New York, NY.
Matthews, S. M. 2008. Raising Whidehch (Wha-detch): the baby fisher that was born to be wild. Pages 6-8 in Wildlife Conservation Magazine. February 2009.
Matthews, S. M., J. M. Higley, J. A. Hilty, and K. Wang. 2008. Culturally-based wildlife conservation on Native American lands: a challenge of scale and governance. in K. H. Redford and C. Grippo, editors. Wildlife Conservation Society Working Paper No. 36 Protected areas, governance, and scale. Wildlife Conservation Society, New York, NY.
Matthews, S. M., R. T. Golightly, and J. M. Higley. 2008. Mark-sight density estimation for American black bears in Hoopa, California. Ursus 19:13-21.
Breck, S. W., C. L. Williams, J. P. Beckmann, S. M. Matthews, C. W. Lackey, J. J. Beecham. 2008. Using genetic relatedness to investigate the development of conflict behavior in black bears. Journal of Mammalogy 89:428-434.
Matthews, S. M. 2007. Fisher 47 – A mother’s contribution to the next generation. Pages 6-8 in Wildlife Conservation Magazine. October 2007.
Breck, S. W., N. Lance, J. Bourassa, and S. M. Matthews. 2007. An automated system for detecting and reporting trespassing bears in Yosemite National Park. Ursus 18:230-235.
Jordan, M. J., J. M. Higley, S. M. Matthews, O. E. Rhodes, M. K. Schwartz, R. H. Barrett, P. J. Palsbøll. 2007. Development of 22 new microsatellite loci for fishers (Martes pennanti) with variability results from across their range. Molecular Ecology Notes 7:797-801.
Brown, R.N., M.W. Gabriel, G. Wengert, S.M. Matthews, J.M. Higley, J.E. Foley. 2007. Fecally transmitted viruses associated with Pacific fishers (Martes pennanti) in northwestern California. Transactions of the Western Section of the Wildlife Society 42:40-46.
Matthews, S. M., J. J. Beecham, H. Quigley, S. S. Greenleaf, H. M. Leithead. 2006. Activity patterns of black bears in Yosemite National Park. Ursus 17:30-40.
Last updated November 18, 2011 by Roxann Cormier