- Author: Anne Lombardo
- 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