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Winter Habitat Selection and Foraging Behavior of the Fisher Martes pennanti

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Element selection in winter is most related to large debris for warm ... Effects of scale on habitat selection and foraging behavior of fishers in winter. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Winter Habitat Selection and Foraging Behavior of the Fisher Martes pennanti


1
Winter Habitat Selection and Foraging Behavior of
the Fisher (Martes pennanti)
2
General Information
  • Adults weigh between 12-25 lbs
  • 27-49 inches in length.
  • Males are about twice the size of females
  • Excellent climbers - paws able to rotate 180
  • Found only in N. America
  • Exists in Northeast U.S., most of Canada, and a
    portion of the NW U.S. and California

3
General Information
  • Snowshoe hares and porcupines make up 20 and 65
    of a fishers metabolizable energy (Powell 1994)

4
Foraging Behavior
  • Variation in tracks from hardwood to coniferous
  • Snowshoe hare more common in coniferous areas.
    Fisher tracks meander.
  • Porcupine nests usually known.
  • Tracks are linear

5
Purpose
  • To determine the selectivity of habitat at three
    scale levels
  • Stand
  • Patch
  • Elements

6
Methods
  • Live trapping and radio marking
  • Tracking
  • Analysis compared home range of fishers to amount
    of available forest type.
  • This helps to determine positive or negative
    selectivity

7
Coarse Woody Debris
  • In winter, fishers selected at least double the
    amount of hardwood CWD gt20cm, than in the summer.
  • Winter gt50 m3/ha
  • Summer 1-25 m3/ha
  • Explanation
  • Fishers use hollow logs and brush piles to
    access subnivean during harsh weather
  • Fishers are reported to use tree cavities
    primarily in autumn and spring, and limb nests in
    the summer

8
Cover Type
  • Selected up to 60 coniferous canopy and 60 high
    shrub
  • Avoid gt80 low shrub in all seasons
  • Explanation
  • Less snow and more compact snow allows for better
    foraging.

9
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12
Conclusion
  • Stand selection most important with regard to
    cover, expanse, and tree types
  • Patch selection based on stand selection.
  • Fishers selected patches with significantly less
    structure in stands that had extremely high
    values of coniferous canopy, high shrub, and low
    shrub closures.
  • Element selection in winter is most related to
    large debris for warm resting sites

13
Conclusion
  • Fisher habitat selection and utilization is
    determined primarily by efficiency

14
Porcupines and Fishers
  • Live in hardwood forests
  • Fishers do not actively avoid, but they do not
    select for
  • Hunted very efficiently so time in porcupine
    habitat is decreased compared to that of hare
  • Remains to be seen whether fishers select for
    porcupine habitat within the vicinity of
    coniferous stands

15
References
  • Powell RA. 1994. Effects of scale on habitat
    selection and foraging behavior of fishers in
    winter. J Mammal 75(2)349-56.Weir RD and
    Harestad AS. 2003. Scale-dependent habitat
    selectivity by fishers in south-central british
    columbia. The Journal of Wildlife Management
    67(1)73-82.
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