Historical Perspective on the Reintroduction of the Fisher and American Marten in Wisconsin and Michigan

  • Williams B
  • Gilbert J
  • Zollner P
  • 28

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Abstract

Management of mustelid species such as fishers and martens requires an understanding of the history of local populations. This is particularly true in areas where populations were extirpated and restored through reintroduction efforts. During the late 19th and 20th centuries, fishers (Martes pennanti) and American martens (Martes americana) were extirpated from much of their southern range, including Michigan and Wisconsin. Both species have been restored to varying degrees in these states following multiple reintroductions and translocations. We describe the status of the original populations and changes in their status over time, and include source locations, release sites, release and reintroduction dates, and demographic characteristics of released animals. This synthesis is crucial for evaluating the relative success of reintroductions in Michigan and Wisconsin, and, combined with knowledge of the current condition of these populations, can provide valuable guidance on the future management of these species. We also assess the reintroduction of fishers and martens in Michigan and Wisconsin and discuss strategies for successful reintroductions.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Martes americana
  • Martes pennanti
  • translocation

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Authors

  • Bronwyn W. Williams

  • Jonathan H. Gilbert

  • Patrick A. Zollner

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