GARRATTSVILLE – DEC Senior Wildlife Biologist Michael D. Clark will provide details on a recently completed management plan on the fisher cat at 7 this evening at the New Lisbon Town Hall, 908 County Route 16. The talk is sponsored by the Butternut Valley Alliance.
The DEC completed the Fisher Management Plan in December 2015. It details the results of a recent DEC study of fishers across the state, including Otsego County and the Butternut Valley. Clark, who took part in that study and helped prepare the management plan, will talk about the natural history and ecological significance of fishers and describe the study methodology and findings.
Fishers are dark, long-haired, carnivorous predators found exclusively in the forests of North America. Although they have some cat-like features and are often referred to as fisher cats, they are actually large members of the weasel family.
Fishers, whose population was decimated by unregulated trapping and habitat destruction in the early 20th century, have rebounded in this region after being re-introduced into the Catskills and Pennsylvania in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It is now lawful in Otsego County to trap fishers, which are highly valued for their fur, but only during a short open season in the fall.
“Fishers are just cool animals,” said Ed Lentz, a BVA member and a New Lisbon resident whose property was among those selected for the study. “If you’ve ever been out at night and heard a blood-curdling, high pitch shrieking, it was probably a fisher.”
The presentation is open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. For more information or directions, please visit the BVA website at butternutvalleyalliance.org or call 263-5425.