Linzey, Donald W. Wytheville Community College, Wytheville, Virginia.
Last reviewed:January 2020
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A medium-sized, weasel-like, carnivorous mammal (Martes pennanti or Pekania pennanti) classified in the family Mustelidae. Fishers (Martes pennanti or Pekania pennanti) belong to the family Mustelidae (order Carnivora), which also includes weasels, minks, martens, wolverines, otters, sables, ferrets, and badgers. Fishers occur only in North America. Specifically, they are found in forested areas of northern North America, as well as extending southward in the Sierra Nevada Mountains to central California and southward in the Appalachian Mountains to West Virginia. Their original range, which has been significantly reduced, particularly in the United States, nearly coincided with the combined distributions of northern hemlock, northern hardwood, western mountain, and boreal forests. The fisher is known sometimes as the pekan, Pennant's marten, black cat, or American sable, although fisher appears to be the most popular name. Oddly enough, the animal does not fish. See also: Badger; Carnivora; Ferret; Mammalia; Marten; Mink; Otter; Sable; Weasel; Wolverine
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