SEATTLE (AP) — The first wild members of the wolverine family known as fishers have been born in the North Cascades for the first time in decades.
A coalition of wildlife agencies announced the discovery Monday, saying a female fisher was seen on a trail camera in April, KING-TV reported.
The fisher was photographed moving four kits at her den in western Chelan County.
Fishers are native to Washington forests but were eliminated by the mid-1900s through trapping and habitat loss.
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Biologist Dr. Jeff Lewis said in a statement that seeing fisher F105 and her kits is a wonderful first indication that the North Cascades Ecosystem can support a reproductive population of fishers, and it’s a great sign for fisher recovery in Washington.
“We have high hopes that we will find additional females in the North Cascades having kits this spring,” he said.
To restore the species in Washington, 89 fishers were released into the North Cascades and Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest between 2018 and 2020. Eighty-one fishers were released in the southern Cascades from 2015 to 2020.
More than 250 fishers have been reintroduced to Washington since releases first started near Olympic National Park in 2008, according to the North Cascades National Park Service Complex.
The female caught on camera in Chelan County was released west of Darrington in 2018.
Fishers were listed as a state endangered species in 1998.