The fisher (Martes pennanti) is a small carnivorous mammal native to North America. It is a member of the mustelid family (commonly referred to as the weasel family) and a part of the marten genus. The fisher is closely related to but larger than the American marten (Martes americana). The fisher is a forest-dwelling creature whose range covers much of the boreal forest in Canada to the northern United States. Names derived from aboriginal languages include pekan, pequam, wejack, and woolang. It is also sometimes referred to as a fisher cat, although it is not a feline. Males and females are similar in appearance but the males are larger. Males are 90 to 120 cm (35–47 in) in length and weigh 3.5 to 6 kilograms (8–13 lb). Females measure 75 to 95 cm (30–37 in) and weigh 2 to 2.5 kg (4–6 lb). The fur of the fisher varies seasonally, being denser and glossier in the winter. During the summer, the color becomes more mottled, as the fur goes through a moulting cycle. The fisher prefers to hunt in full forest. Though an agile climber, most of its time is spent on the forest floor, where it prefers to forage around fallen trees. An omnivore, the fisher feeds on a wide variety of small animals and occasionally on fruits and mushrooms. It shows a preference for the snowshoe hare and is one of the few predators able to prey on porcupines successfully. Despite its common name, the fisher seldom eats fish.



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