Monday, November 16, 2009

Fishers and tracking in New Jersey

In the latest issue of Trail Walker, a publication of the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, Robynn K. Shannon takes a look at the return of fishers to Sussex County in northern New Jersey (page 7). These nocturnal mustelids are extremely elusive and were only confirmed in the state with the use of strategically placed camera traps.

The wildlife biologist who works most extensively with these camera traps, Charlie Kontos, has also written an article which appears on page 7 of this issue. He discusses the tracking of both fishers and bobcats in northern New Jersey during the winter. This knowledge helped him to eventually capture a fisher on camera in 2006, the first known record in the state since the late 1800s.

Photo by Charlie Kontos (c) 2006

Kontos, a PhD student in the Ecology & Evolution graduate program at Rutgers University, also runs his own website chronicling the history of the fisher in New Jersey. The site can be found here and also includes photos, interesting information about the predator, and much more regarding the Garden State's lesser seen wildlife. Check out both the Trail Walker and The New Jersey Fisher Experience to learn more about the state's most impressive hunters.

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