Pathologists with the New Hampshire Veterinary Diagnostic Lab at the University of New Hampshire have been working on study of CDV in multiple wildlife species for a few years. The disease may already be having an impact on populations of wild mesocarnivores in New Hampshire and New England, including fox and fisher.
Just as the acorn mast abundance of two years ago drove a rodent explosion last year, I’m confident the expansion in rodent presence will drive a “cyclical boom” in New England’s predatory species this year.
A newly released study in the American Midland Naturalist focuses on the recent discovery of leucism traits found in a traveling male fisher, captured on a trail camera image from Price County, Wisconsin in 2017. The report states its the first scientifically documented case of leucism in pekania pennanti. Although, as we found out, its clearly not the first documented case on the World Wide Web!
Is New Hampshire finding its way out of a cyclical “boom and bust” fisher trend? Current data is great for checking trends, but does it give you the root cause of a perceived decline? Biologists have stated fisher appear to be adapting (and thriving) in more urban areas; have these creatures forgone the dense hemlock groves where trappers roam for the dumpsters and back decks of suburban sprawl?
New Hampshire’s trappers are once again being called upon to assist with wildlife conservation in the region. The state’s trapping community intends to fully answer the call. Multiple conservation-oriented projects are being administered by different agencies, and they’re all requesting tissue and carcass samples from legally trapped furbearing wildlife for scientific testing and research.