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Importance of Tree Cavities as Natal Dens for Fishers

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We determined characteristics of natal dens used by radio-collared fishers in southcentral Maine. Twelve adult (≥2 yr old) females were monitored for periods of 1-5 yr each during 1984-1989. Estimated whelping dates of 12 litters were March 3-April 1, and females used 1-5 natal dens each until denning ended in early June. All 33 natal dens were in tree cavities on upland sites. Hardwoods composed 94% of the den trees, with aspens accounting for 52%. We recommend that forestry practices allow for a continued supply of mature and decadent hardwoods > 40 cm dbh to replace cavity trees that fall. Where cavity trees must be removed, cutting should be done outside the March-June denning period to avoid disturbance or mortality of fisher litters. North. J. Appl. For. 13(2): 79-83.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: National Biological Service, Maine Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, University of Maine, Orono 04469

Publication date: 1996-06-01

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  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Northern Journal of Applied Forestry covers northeastern, midwestern, and boreal forests in the United States and Canada.
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