The Role of Local Cavity Tree Density in the Selection of Den Sites by Female Fishers (Pekania pennanti) in Northern Minnesota
Computer and Information Sciences
habitat selection, den structures, fisher, Pekania pennanti, cavity retention
Although several studies have evaluated fisher (Pekania pennanti (Erxleben, 1777)) selection of den structures across their natural range, the role of other nearby trees with suitable cavities that can be used by female fishers for subsequent maternal dens has not been explored. We used conditional logistic regression to describe selection of natal and maternal dens by female fishers in northern Minnesota, United States, and to determine if the density of other cavity trees surrounding a specific tree influences this selection. Our results indicate that cavity density was an important predictor of whether a tree was used as a den site by female fishers. The apparent condition (i.e., live, declining, or dead) and diameter at breast height of the cavity tree itself were also important for selection. These results affirm the need to retain large-diameter cavity trees, illustrate the potential benefits of retaining them in high-density patches, and caution against creating a landscape with highly dispersed denning options.
Canadian Journal of Forest Research
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