Rebecca E Green; NPS - Sequoia-Kings Canyon NP;; Jody Tucker, Sarah Stock, Tyler Coleman, Greta Wengert, Tessa Smith, Emerson Paton, Chloe Burt, Leah Kerschner, Stephanie Eyes, Esther Burkett

The landscape in the southern Sierra Nevada has undergone dramatic change over the last decade, including a severe drought starting in 2012, extensive conifer mortality beginning in 2015, and a series of increasingly large and intense wildfires including (from north to south) the Ferguson Fire (2018) in Yosemite National Park, the Rough Fire (2015) in the Sierra National Forest, and the KNP Complex Fire (2021) in Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park. Living in the midst of this changing landscape are fishers (Pekania pennanti) and other wildlife species that depend on features of mature forest, including dense canopy cover, large diameter trees, and microsites suitable for resting and reproduction (e.g., large cavities, hollow logs). Beginning in summer 2021, we used a combination of remote cameras and GPS collars to identify where fishers continue to occur, which patches of older forest (“forest refugia”) they are using, and how they navigate in or around recent fire footprints to remaining green forest (“linkage habitat”). We report the broad findings of this multi-agency endeavor (2021-2022) for the Merced River study area (Yosemite NP, Stanislaus NF, Sierra NF) and the Kings-Kaweah Rivers study area (Sequoia-Kings Canyon NP, Sequoia NM/NF) and implications for conservation.

Mammals IV: Mustelids  InPerson Presentation