Resting habitat used by fishers (Pekania pennanti) has been relatively well studied but information on the persistence of their resting structures over time is unknown. We selected for reexamination 73 of 195 resting structures used by by fishers in northwestern California and compared their condition on the date they were found with their condition 8.2–12.1 years later. Resting structures were classified into three functional groups: live trees, snags, and logs. Each group was classified further into structural stages of decay or decomposition. A total of 19.2% of resting structures changed structural stage over the assessment period, transitioning from one structural stage to another within or between groups. However, none of the structures declined in function to the point that they could not be used for resting. One tree jumped two functional groups, transitioning from a live tree to a log. Based on the rates of degradation that we observed, we recommend monitoring the fate of fisher resting structures every few decades. This will help us provide information about the loss rate of resting structures that, when combined with new information about the rate of cavity creation in trees and snags, will help us determine whether the forces of resting structure loss and gain are in dynamic equilibrium.
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Vol. 89 • No. 2