Monitoring fisher populations

USFS Pacific SW Research Station

Kings River, Sierra Nevada Mountains, CA

handler and dog on a log
Bud Marks and CK9 Frehley

CK9s on the study:


Every spring and fall, beginning in 2006, Conservation Canines has sent two teams down to the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California, to find fisher scat for the USFS. Fisher are a large member of the weasel family that have been trapped out of many parts of their historic range. Today, the Sierras represent the southern-most portion of the fisher’s range. In addition to live-capture and telemetry work conducted by the USFS, the data we collect is vital in shaping our understanding of fisher biology, particularly in relation to wildfires.


Thompson, C.M., J.A. Royle, and J.D. Garner. 2012. A framework for  inference about carnivore density from unstructured spatial sampling of scat using detector dogs.Journal of Wildlife Management 76: 863-871.

Thompson, C.M., K. Purcell, J. Garner, R. Green. 2010. 2010 Kings River Fisher Progress Report.USDA Forest Service.

Additional links:

US Forest Service

Additional Photos

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