Pekania Pennanti | The Fisher Facts

Pekania pennanti The Fisher Facts copy

The world is a palace of diverse creatures living around the globe. There are hundreds of different animals that are found in their respective regions. Fisher is one such animal that is found in the North American forest. It is a carnivorous animal, classified under mammals. It is often considered a Fisher cat as it is famously known as a Fisher cat. It is often called Pekan too in some regions.

Pekania Pennanti | The Fisher Facts

Fisher are non-hostile carnivorous species, Native to Canada and nearby areas. Here is all the information you should know about a Fisher.

Scientific Classification 

Thomas Pennant was the first person, who exclusively described the details of Fishers in the year 1771. Hence the scientific name of Fisher became Pekania pennanti. It belongs to the Genus Pekania, which is classified under the Family Mustelidae. It was categorized under the Order Carnivora, which is a subpart of Class Mammalia. This whole Class is from Phylum Chordata, which is a part of Kingdom Animalia. (Belongs to Domain Eukaryota)

Origin and Evolution

The Fisher’s ancestors originally migrated from Asia to the American region about 5 million years ago. In the eastern part of Asia, two skulls from the mustelid family were discovered. It signifies their relationship with Asian animals. Although, the scientist wasn’t able to distinguish these animals into subcategories. So it is discovered that the Fisher is a monotypic animal. It belongs to the weasel family with no further branches.

Appearance and Characteristics

Fishers are mediocre-sized animals, with long bodies that are close to the ground. It has small legs that contain retractable claws that can be used to hunt different animals. It comes in different shades of gray, black, brown, white, and golden fur. 

A Fisher can have an average length of 25 inches(it can vary based on gender) and weigh around 2 to 2.5 kgs. A Fisher can normally live up to 10 years or a few more. They are one of few animals whose fur undergoes molting (shedding hairs or skin) every year. This starts in early June and ends near the start of November or December. 

Fun Fact: Female Fishers are smaller than male Fishers, as small as half the size of a male. Also, they tend to growl and hiss when they get upset.


Fisher are carnivorous animals and are excellent hunters. Their retractable claws are a natural gift they have to hunt their favorite. It is profound to eat upland birds, rodents, porcupines, and horseshoe hares. It is the most successful porcupine hunter out of all other animals. The reason is its ground-leveled body, which allows it to bite directly into the face of a porcupine to deal a deadly blow. It can also flip a whole porcupine to eat its belly like a scoop of ice cream.


The Fisher are some of the animals that like the areas full of trees. It has been estimated that most Fishers prefer areas with around 80% of trees. They usually avoid the open areas, unless they are extremely hungry and looking for food. 

They are normally found inside the old-growth forest. The reason is because of overhead coverage in these biomes. Despite being excellent climbers, the Fishers prefer to roam around on the land. They also prefer areas where big logs of old trees have been lying around for quite a while now. The Fishers avoid the snowy areas and keep themselves away from any densely snowy areas.


The breeding season starts in the last quarter of February till April. Unlike most animals, after mating, their body undergoes blastocyst(delayed implantation) condition. The actual birth happens once this 10-month delay is ended and the mother Fisher keeps the baby inside her womb for around 50 more days before birth.

A female Fisher can give birth to around 1 to 4 kits(baby Fishers), which usually happens inside a hollow tree den. At birth, the baby can not see, hardly has a bit of fur, and relies on their mother. It will take them around 3 weeks to crawl, 7 weeks to open their eyes, and 8 weeks to start climbing. 

Once they are around 4 months old the kits start bothering each other. So, after a month, the mother takes them out of their den to live all on their own. Within one year, they are able to establish their territory.

Types of Fisher

There are technically no other types of Fishers out there. In 1935, a scientist named Goldman identified 3 types of Fishers

  • Martes pennanti pennanti.
  • Martes pennanti pacifica.
  • Martes pennanti Columbiana.

However, the concept only thrived for a short time period. 

Fisher: An Endangered Species 

Fishers are some of the animals that are still under the least concerned radar of animal protection services. during the past 2 decades, it is said that their population has a massive reduction in numbers. The main reason for this downfall is the uncontrolled log cutting for multiple industries. It destroyed most of the natural habitat of this beautiful animal.

The second main reason for a Fisher’s potential endangerment was hunting, because of its holistic fur. This fur was the main attraction of a lot of hunters for quite a while, leading to the mass hunting of this cute and innocent carnivorous animal. Its furry tail was used to make spodik, which is a fur hat. Its pelt(whole furry skin often known as hides) is quite expensive, especially when it is from Fisher during the winter season and lowest during its molting season. There are still brands that are selling the pelts of this poor animal for their profits.

There are multiple smaller organizations, especially near Canada, that are devoted to providing this animal with its right to be recognized as an endangered species. But, due to some unknown causes, it has not been applied to this innocent creature. This decision is contributing to further reducing their overall population, which might result in their almost extinction.

Point to Ponder: In 2012, a study in the US by the Hoppa tribe and US Forest Services showed the signs of rat poisoning exposure to the Fishers living in the nearby forests of California. It was associated with the cultivation of marijuana in the same region where Fishers live. Due to this deadly exposure, a number of Fishers lost their lives. The poison was said to be so deadly that the Fishers who consumed it died without even finishing the poisoned food(which was supposedly poisonous hotdogs).


The Fisher is a great animal that is taking its part in balancing the ecosystem of its native forests. The native North American animal is often recalled as the Fisher cat due to its resemblance to a certain breed of cats. The Fishers are great for the environment and it’s concerning as they are still not even given the vulnerable status. Despite its population being reduced for the past few years due to multiple reasons, including Hunting, cutting of trees, and poisoning in some areas. These Fisher facts allow you to have a solid understanding of Fisher’s importance in an ecosystem. It should be taken into account that this animal might go extinct if we are not able to provide the safe and hospitable environment they actually deserve.

About the author