We examined the patterns of space use and spatial organization of radio-tagged fishers (Pekania pennanti) in boreal mixed-wood forests in northeastern British Columbia, Canada between 2005 and 2009 to gain a better understanding of broad-scale population processes. We collected point locations from 17 radio-tagged fishers and estimated home ranges using the 95% isopleth of the utilisation distribution generated from the fixed kernel method. Aggregate home ranges averaged 30.6 km2 for females (SD = 14.5, n = 13) and 210.3 km2 for males (SD = 45.2, n = 4). Overlap of home ranges was common among individuals: 8 of 13 females had home ranges that overlapped portions of up to 3 other female home ranges, whereas home ranges of males overlapped 1 to 3 other males' home ranges, and male home ranges overlapped home ranges of 1 to 6 radio-tagged females. None of the observed instances of overlap were of parents and offspring. Given that the adult fishers that we radio-tagged had substantial omental and mesenteric fat deposits, we hypothesize that the patterns of space use that we observed were influenced by the distribution and abundance of resources needed for successful reproduction, rather than food.
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Vol. 87 • No. 2