Green Visions: fisher den boxes: helping rebuild populations ... and a whole lot of monkey business

Nov 18, 2020

Credit Ryan Pennesi/Carlton County

When studies started showing that fishers (think big weasel) were declining in northern Minnesota, the DNR and wildlife biologists got concerned.

Michael Joyce, wildlife biologist with the NRRI got a team together, built 100 den boxes out of wood, strapped the 52-lb. boxes to frame packs and schlepped them out into the wilderness in hopes that with safe places to raise their families, fisher populations could start making a comeback.

Thanks to the miracle of trail cams, Mike and his team can keep an eye on the den boxes.  Every couple of months, they head out to the trail cams, retrieve the SD cards and put in new ones, then head back to look at the images.

And what they're finding is that lots of forest denizens enjoy hanging out inside, outside, and on top of the den boxes, plus they're being used as toys, lunch, and places for romantic interludes, as well.