29 July 2013

July 2013 update on the SNAMP Fisher Team

During the second quarter of 2013, the SNAMP fisher team had a maximum of 4 field staff during the denning season and currently has a total of 3 field staff.

Efforts continue to create a database that will summarize all SNAMP-related fisher mortalities. This mortality database will be made available on the SNAMP online project database (https://snamp.ucmerced.edu/). A database is currently under construction that will summarize all the biological data that have been collected on all SNAMP fisher captures.

2013 Denning Season

  • The 2013 Pacific fisher denning season formally began on the 18th of March, and ended on the 5th of June 2013. On the 23rd of March, our first confirmed denning female was located (F55), which is the project’s earliest confirmed den tree.

  • Eleven females were confirmed to have denned, and a kit count was acquired for 8 (72.7%) of the denning females. The 5 year average of percent kit count/confirmed denning females (2009-2013) for the SNAMP Fisher team is 64.6%.

  • Only 2 females were confirmed with a minimum of 2 kits; all other females only produced a minimum of 1.

  • Twenty-seven new den trees were confirmed, and 7 of those (25.9%) were used in previous denning seasons.

  • Telemetry/Mortalities

  • As of the 9th of July 2013, we are aerially monitoring 22 radio-collared Pacific fishers (12 females and 8 males), 5 days per week.

  • There were 5 mortalities (4 males and 1 female), 5 dropped collars (2 male and 3 females), and 2 collars off air (due to battery depletion) from April 1st to July 9th, 2013.

    • All mortalities are pending confirmation via necropsy report.

    • All mortalities were a result of predation events.

    • All male mortalities occurred in April.

    • The one female mortality occurred on the 21st of April.

    Key Watershed Camera Surveys

  • The automatic digital camera trapping of the Key Watershed is due to be completed by mid-July.

  • As of the 9th of July 2013, a total of 159 one kilometer camera grids have been surveyed.

  • Future Work Priorities

  • After completion of the Key Watershed Surveys for Year 6, camera grids have been identified outside the Key Watershed for survey. These surveys will be conducted from now to mid-October, which coincides with the end of Camera Survey Year 6.

  • At the start of Camera Survey Year 7 (16th October 2013), the Key Watersheds will begin to be resurveyed again.

  • Aerial telemetry flights are scheduled to continue 5 days a week.
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