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Data from: Habitat patch use by fishers in the deciduous forest-dominated landscape of the central Appalachian Mountains, USA

Citation

Ellington E., Hance et al. (2017), Data from: Habitat patch use by fishers in the deciduous forest-dominated landscape of the central Appalachian Mountains, USA, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.p397k

Abstract

Fishers (Pekania pennanti) are often associated with the coniferous and mixed forests of the northern United States and central Canada, and their ecology has been studied extensively in portions of their distributional range. Recently, natural range expansion and reintroductions have led to recolonization by fishers of portions of the central Appalachian Mountains, USA, where deciduous forest is the dominant vegetation type. We used noninvasive hair snare surveys and microsatellite genetic analysis to detect fishers in the central Appalachian Mountains of Pennsylvania, USA. We used these detections within an occupancy modeling framework to explore habitat patch use by fishers and the forest characteristics and land use features that influenced it. We found that the likelihood of patch use by fishers was related to forests with higher proportions of low-density residential areas. Our results also suggested lower road densities might be related to higher likelihood of fisher patch use. Fishers in Pennsylvania tolerated some forms of land development. Patch use was not driven by forest type or canopy cover, at least within our deciduous forest-dominated study areas. Future research identifying the threshold values at which forest cover and land development affect patch use by fishers in the central Appalachian Mountains will better inform management decisions with respect to sites for future reintroduction of fishers.

Usage Notes

Location

Pennsylvania