Last summer, we joined Olympic National Park, US Geological Survey, Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife and partners including Olympic National Forest, tribal entities, Conservation Northwest, and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in the Olympic Peninsula Fisher Reintroduction Project. This month, we are ramping up again with our corps of volunteer citizen scientists to continue to monitor and track local fisher populations.
Starting in 2008, 90 fishers (Martes pennant) from British Columbia were released into Olympic National Park. They moved out across the peninsula, and now partners like Jefferson Land Trust are training and supporting volunteers for fisher monitoring via remote cameras and hair-snare boxes set out in pairs. The box is designed to snag fur from the fisher without harming it, and this hair can then be used in DNA analysis. The “founder” animals had DNA profiles constructed from blood and hair samples, enabling researchers to match hair obtained from subsequent generations to the 90 individuals that were initially released and thereby track fisher populations.
During last year’s monitoring, Wildlife cameras aimed at baited hair-snare traps (the black triangular boxes visible here), watched for fishers (pictured, left) on the Land Trust’s Tarboo Slopes conservation easement—and also snapped passersby like cougar and bear!
If you are interested in volunteering out on the land for Jefferson Land Trust, contact Carrie at firstname.lastname@example.org