- Posted By: Anne Lombardo
- Written by: Rick Sweitzer and Anne Lombardo
Mowgli and Orphan Annie as young kits
Great News!! The Fisher Science Team of the Sierra Nevada Adaptive Management Project have managed to recapture little “Orphan Annie” (aka F39) for the first time since her release nearly a year and a half ago. This young fisher kit is looking good and has grown into a beautiful wild female fisher!
Her mother F31 was killed less than 2 years ago while she was nurturing the kits in a tree den during the denning season. The Fisher Science Team had been tracking F31 so they were able to locate and rescue the kits. After the kits were rescued from their mother's den tree, they were raised as part of a joint effort by the California Department of Fisher and Game, the Fresno Chaffee Zoo, and a local wildlife rehabilitation group (Fresno Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation), along with two kits rescued from a separate mortality incident.
Annie had been tracked until recently by way of a surgically implanted radiotransmitter, but that device ceased transmitting about 45 days ago and she was temporarily lost to the study. So, when we recaptured Annie last week it was great news!! She was very healthy and has established her own territory inside of her mother’s former home range. We are particularly excited that we should be able to track her during her potential first denning attempt this spring. We look forward to tracking her movements during her second year of life.
We are also fortunate to be tracking Mowgli, the male sibling fisher kit released with Orphan Annie. Mowgli is now a strapping young male fisher surviving on his own and we call him M27. Mowgli had been missing since spring of 2011 when his radio collar fell off, so it was very exciting to relocate him as well. Like Annie, Mowgli appears to be very healthy and should be ready to engage in mating this spring based on his large size.
The second mortality incident involved F25, another female fisher our team had been tracking when she died after being struck by a car on a local highway. When F25 died she left behind two other orphan fisher kits in a nearby den tree; F40 (Zosi) and F41 (Paya). F40 was killed in Jan 2011 shortly after her release and F41 has been missing since April 2011. The team is now strategizing on ways to access the area F41 had been using on the south side of the San Joaquin River near Mammoth Pool dam for a trapping attempt. The area where F41 had established a home range is very difficult to access from the north side of the San Joaquin River, so trapping there will be a major logistical challenge.
Ophan Annie January 2012
Mowgli in January 2012
This blog will provide an update on the status of 5 Pacific fisher kits recently rescued by the Sierra Nevada Adaptive Management Projects's (SNAMP) wildlife team near Oakhurst, Ca.
Please stay tuned for lots of precious photos and an ongoing commentary on how the 2 boys and their sister are doing.
The fisher kits have been returned to the wild as of the end of October 2010. They will continue to be tracked in hopes that their return is successful.
- Author: Rick Sweitzer
Hello Everyone - time for an update on the fisher kits! Perhaps the most important news is that the fisher kits now have names, thanks to suggestions from the students at Yosemite High School (Oakhurst, CA), the North Fork Rancheria/Mono Tribe, and folks at the Bass Lake District Office of the Sierra National Forest (North Fork, CA). We received over 20 name suggestions, which we pared down to 5 using a ranking process. The names for the five kits and a few details on meaning/source are listed below:
Annie (Little Orphan Annie) - Source Yosemite High School
Mowgli (Jungle Book feral child) - Source Yosemite High School
Cho' (Chippewa Indian name for the fisher) - Internet search
Paya (Indian name for water) - North Fork Rancheria/Mono Tribe
Yosimus or "Yosi" (Greek/Spanish name for survivor) - Bass Lake District Office
All five fishers continue to do quite well and they are growing fast. The F31 orphaned kits (Annie, Mowgli, and Cho') have now tripled their body weights from when they were first rescued.The F25 kits were larger and presumably a bit older when they were rescued, and both of these female fishers have more than doubled their body weights.
Below I have inserted Age-Wt plots of each of the 5 fisher kits, along with a color photograph of each of the animals.
Text: Rick A. Sweitzer
RECENT EVENTS/UPDATE: After the kits were rescued by SNAMP Fisher and their status was reported to California Department of Fish and Game, we have been working closely with the Fresno Chaffee Zoo, California Dept of Fish and Game, and the Sierra National Forest while developing a plan for hand-rearing, and then eventually pen rearing the fisher kits.
All 5 fisher kits are being raised under the care/supervision of Zoo Veterinarian Dr. Lewis Wright at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo. All five of the orphaned animals remain quite healthy, and they have each nearly tripled their body weight since they were started on milk formula after their rescue
A number of very kind individuals have donated funds to facilitate raising the kits. We are keeping a list of individuals who have donated funds, and will be creating a mailing list to keep everyone fully aware of the status of the kits.
We are very near on deciding on names for each of the 5 fishers. We received suggestions of over 25 names from the students at Yosemite High School and from the staff at the Bass Lake Ranger Station in Oakhurst. We will likely decide on the names by tomorrow, and will do our best to post photos of each fisher with her/his name. All for now, but stay tuned as the Blog gets going.