Sunday, 14 August 2016

Data from camera surveys identifying co-occurrence and occupancy linkages between fishers (Pekania pennanti), rodent prey, mesocarnivores, and larger predators in mixed-conifer forests

Volume 6, March 2016, Pages 783–792

Open Access
Data Article

  • a Great Basin Institute (GBI), 16750 Mount Rose Highway, Reno, NV 89511, USA
  • b California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), 601 Locust Street, Redding, CA 96001, USA
Under a Creative Commons license


These data provide additional information relevant to the frequency of fisher detections by camera traps, and single-season occupancy and local persistence of fishers in small patches of forest habitats detailed elsewhere, “Landscape Fuel Reduction, Forest Fire, and Biophysical Linkages to Local Habitat Use and Local Persistence of Fishers (Pekania pennanti) in Sierra Nevada Mixed-conifer Forests” [10]. The data provides insight on camera trap detections of 3 fisher predators (bobcat [Lynx rufus]). Coyote [Canis latrans], mountain lion [Puma concolor], 5 mesocarnivores in the same foraging guild as fishers (gray fox [Urocyon cinereoargenteus]) ringtail [Bassariscus astutus], marten [Martes americana], striped skunk [Mephitis mephitis] spotted skunk [Spilogale gracilis], and 5 Sciuridae rodents that fishers consume as prey (Douglas squirrel [Tamiasciurus douglasii]), gray squirrel [Sciurus griseus], northern flying squirrel [Glaucomys sabrinus], long-eared chipmunk [Neotamias quadrimaculatus], California ground squirrel [Spermophilus beecheyi]. We used these data to identify basic patterns of co-occurrence with fishers, and to evaluate the relative importance of presence of competing mesocarnivores, rodent prey, and predators for fisher occupancy of small, 1 km2 grid cells of forest habitat.


  • Carnivores;
  • Competition;
  • Distribution;
  • Foraging guild;
  • Predation;
  • Tree squirrels

Specifications table

Subject areaBiology
More specific subject areaWildlife ecology, conservation biology
Type of dataText, tables, figures
How data was acquiredCamera trap surveys
Data formatTabular, plotted and analyzed
Experimental factorsGrid cells, presence/absence
Experimental featuresStandardized camera trap surveys
Data source locationSierra National Forest, California, USA
Data accessibilityData in this article

Value of the data

These data provide new insights on how the distribution and habitat use of fishers is influenced by presence of multiple co-occurring carnivores and rodent prey in California, USA.
These data indicated that fishers co-occurred with multiple species of rodent prey, multiple other mesocarnivores in the same foraging guild, and 3 larger predators that commonly attack and kill them.
These data identified a positive association between fisher occupancy and presence of known prey of fishers, which was suggested previously but without supporting data [7].
Mesocarnivores consume similar prey [12], and these data identified a negative association between fisher occupancy and presence of other mesocarnivores, indicative of interspecific competition.
Previous research used presence records to predict the range of fishers [6], [7] and [14], and data we provide on local occupancy of fishers with prey and competing mesocarnivores can improve models of their distribution in forest ecosystems.

1. Data

In this Data in Brief article we summarize camera trap detections of 3 fisher predators (bobcat, coyote, mountain lion), 5 mesocarnivores in the same foraging guild as fishers (gray fox, ringtail, American marten, striped skunk, spotted skunk), and 5 Sciuridae rodents that fishers prey on (Douglas squirrel, gray squirrel, northern flying squirrel, long-eared chipmunk, California ground squirrel) in the Sierra Nevada region of California, USA. These data identify basic patterns of co-occurrence of rodent prey and other carnivores with fishers, as well as how presence of these species influence fisher occupancy within small, 1-km2 patches of forest habitat in California, USA.