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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Slightly smaller than it's sympatric fellow weasel-the Fisher, the American Martern is found throughout Alaska and Canada, northern New England, New York, the Great Lakes States and the Pacific Northwest, Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains.............There is also current discussion of re-introducing Martens back into Pennsylvania, where they were historically present in the 16th thru early 20th centuries..........."Marten require the retention of core habitat areas, generally large patches (3000 to 5000 ha) of mature and old (80 years) coniferous and mixed forest"......... "These older forests are the preferred habitat for marten because they contain large living and dead standing trees that offer shelter for marten, and suitable cover from avian predators"................."Forestry operations need to take into account that it is critical to leave dead and decaying woody material, often referred to as coarse woody debris, on site to provide habitat for preferred marten prey, such as red-backed voles, mice, squirrels, hares and ground-dwelling birds such as grouse"........... "This coarse woody debris also provides both denning and resting sites for marten",d.eWE

Managing forests for marten
The American marten (Martes americana), also referred to as the pine marten, is a shy weasel-like mammal found throughout Canada in coniferous and mixedwood forests. Marten has traditionally been prized by trappers for its high-value fur, sometimes referred to as Canadian sable.

click on either this picture or the "American Marten 

Gaps exist in what we know about the long-term effects of forestry activities on wildlife species such as marten, which are often used as indicators of forest ecosystem integrity. We know that they avoid young stands in boreal forests, generally preferring mature and older conifers and mixedwoods.

 Research indicates that intensive silviculture likely decreases desired habitat characteristics for marten in the short-term, because it reduces coarse woody debris and standing dead wood, habitat features important to marten. The effects of changes in forest tree species composition are also of concern.
Canadian Forest Service researchers are studying marten in Newfoundland and Ontario to understand how they respond to forest management practices. This work will enable land managers to make informed decisions that consider the needs of marten habitat.

American marten (Martes americana americana)

Radio-collared American marten
Radio-collared American marten
A large-scale collaborative field study was initiated in 2000 by the Canadian Forest Service, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and the University of Guelph to gather scientific data about marten populations in managed and unmanaged forests. The research was conducted in two locations in Northern Ontario, near Red Lake and Kapuskasing and concluded in 2007. Each study site was several thousand square kilometres in size, and contained both managed and unmanaged forests.
More than 100 marten, including adults, juveniles, males and females, were captured using baited live traps. Researchers recorded the animals’ weight, age, and sex and then fitted them with small radio transmitter collars. Field crews travelling on foot or by truck, snowmobile or aircraft were then able to obtain daily or weekly signals from the marten over the course of the project. The data gathered were used to estimate the martens’ home range sizes and habitat use, hunting and reproductive success, population density, survival rates, and habitat availability for both marten and its preferred prey, in order to better understand the mechanisms affecting population levels.
The researchers found that marten in managed sites exhibited poorer body conditions and higher rates of juvenile mortality, both of which indicate that they hunted less efficiently in these conditions. However, marten responded positively, but still in low numbers, in managed areas that had been replanted with conifer trees about 50 years previously, suggesting that basic silviculture can eventually provide habitat favourable to marten. Marten populations were also influenced by commercial trapping, showing a higher susceptibility to capture in managed forests, likely due in part to the higher density of road networks that provide increased access to trappers.

range map of the American Marten

The results of the study suggest that mature and older forests provide the most favourable habitat for marten survival in boreal forests. Populations can also persist at lower levels in mature regenerating forests, but only if trapping is controlled. A range of forest ages distributed across the landscape with various sizes of uncut areas would likely be the most effective means of ensuring viable populations of marten, particularly when both fur harvesting and timber harvesting are managed together.
A population viability analysis (PVA) model that uses habitat and population data to predict marten populations has been created by the researchers. The model will be helpful in predicting future population size, as well as determining the forest management strategies that would be most effective in allowing forest harvesting while maintaining viable marten populations.

Managing forests for Pine Marten. 2011. Thompson, I.D. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Great Lakes Forestry Centre, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Frontline Express 44. 2p.
Year: 2011
Available from: Great Lakes Forestry Centre
Catalog ID: 32123
Language: English
CFS Availability: PDF (download)
The American marten (Martes americana), sometimes
 referred to as the Pine Marten, is a shy, nocturnal,
 weasel-like mammal found throughout Canada in
coniferous and mixedwood forests.

 Marten has traditionally been prized by trappers
for its high-value fur. Healthy populations of marten
are believed to be best maintained through the
 provision of specific habitat conditions such as
 older mixed species forests.

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