There’s no way to know for sure how many fishers lived in the Cascades mountains historically because the small brown mammal was almost entirely eradicated by trappers by 1930.
But this week, there’s evidence that they are reproducing.
For the last 15 years, state and federal agencies have worked in partnership with non-profit Conservation Northwest to bring the fisher — a fur-bearing, tree-climbing, porcupine-eating mammal — back to the Northwest.
Now, a grainy photo from Washington’s Department of Fish and Wildlife shows a female fisher descending a tree with a kit in her mouth.
“That is the first evidence of successful fisher reproduction in the Cascades,” Conservation Northwest Science and Conservation Director Dave Werntz said.
Last Spring, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service opted out of listing the Pacific fisher as an endangered species, backtracking from a report two years prior that called for the listing.
Beginning this winter, fishers will be released in the North Cascades.