A relative of the mink, otter, and marten, the Pacific Fisher inhabits old-growth forests and once ranged from British Columbia through Northern California. Logging and early fur trapping decimated this elusive mammal. Only two native populations remain today—one near the western California/Oregon border, and one in the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) recently confirmed in its 12-month finding that the Pacific fisher “may be at significant risk of extinction” and that protection under the Endangered Species Act is “warranted.” The USFWS is currently accepting comments on its final rule for listing the fisher as a “threatened” species. The final listing decision is expected to become official in early 2015.