|At Yellowstone National Park|
|American marten range|
The American marten or American pine marten(Martes americana) is a species of North American mammal, a member of the family Mustelidae. The species is sometimes referred to as simply the pine marten. The name "pine marten" is derived from the common name of the distinct Eurasian species Martes martes . The American marten differs from the fisher (Pekania pennanti) in that it is smaller in size and lighter in color.
14 subspecies have been recognized. Two subspecies groups have been recognized based on fossil history, cranial analysis, and mitochondrial DNA analysis.None of the subspecies are separable based on morphology and subspecies taxonomy is usually ignored except with regards to conservation issues centered around subspecies rather than ranges.
Martes americana americana subspecies group:
Martes americana caurina subspecies group:
The American marten is broadly distributed in northern North America. From north to south its range extends from the northern limit of treeline in arctic Alaska and Canada to northern New Mexico. From east to west its distribution extends from Newfoundland and south west to Humboldt County, California. In Canada and Alaska, American marten distribution is vast and continuous. In the western United States, American marten distribution is limited to mountain ranges that provide preferred habitat. Over time, the distribution of American marten has contracted and expanded regionally, with local extirpations and successful recolonizations occurring in the Great Lakes region and some parts of the Northeast.The American marten has been reintroduced in several areas where extinction occurred.
The marten lives in mature coniferous or mixed forests in Alaska and Canada, the Pacific Northwest of the United Statesand south into Northern New England and through the Rocky Mountains and Sierra Nevada. Small groups of martens live in the Midwest in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Trapping and destruction of forest habitat have reduced its numbers, but it is still much more abundant than the larger fisher. The Newfoundland subspecies of this animal (Martes americana atrata) is considered to be threatened. The Pacific Northwest subspecies, the Humboldt marten, is even more so, with only a few hundred individuals remaining.
Compared to other carnivores, American marten population density is low for their body size. One review reports population densities ranging from 0.4 to 2.5 individuals/km2.Population density may vary annually or seasonally. Low population densities have been associated with low abundance of prey species.
Home range size of the American marten is extremely variable, with differences attributable to sex, km2) in Maine to 6.1 sq mi (15.7 km2) in Minnesota for males, and 0.04 sq mi (0.1 km2) in Maine to 3.0 sq mi (7.7 km2) in Wisconsin for females.year, geographic area, prey availability, cover type, quality or availability, habitat fragmentation, reproductive status, resident status, predation, and population density. Home range size does not appear to be related to body size for either sex. Home range size ranged from 0.04 sq mi (0.1
Males generally exhibit larger home ranges than females,which some authors suggest is due to more specific habitat requirements of females (e.g., denning or prey requirements) that limit their ability to shift home range. However, unusually large home ranges were observed for 4 females in two studies (Alaska and Quebec ). Males and females in northeastern California appeared to have approximately equal home range size.
Home ranges are indicated by scent-marking. American marten male pelts often show signs of scarring on the head and shoulders, suggesting intrasexual aggression that may be related to home range maintenance.Home range overlap is generally minimal or nonexistent between adult males but may occur between males and females, adult males and juveniles, and between females.
Several authors have reported that home range boundaries appear to coincide with topographical or geographical features. In northeastern California, movements and home range boundaries were influenced by cover, topography (forest-meadow edges, open ridgetop, lakeshores), and other American marten.In south-central Alaska, home range boundaries included creeks and a major river. In an area burned 8 years previously in interior Alaska, home range boundaries coincided with transition areas between riparian and nonriparian habitats. In northwestern Montana, home range boundaries appeared to coincide with the edge of large open meadows and burned areas; the authors suggested that open areas represent a "psychological rather than physical barriers".
The American marten is a long, slender-bodied weasel about the size of a mink with relatively large rounded ears, short limbs, and a bushy tail. American marten have a roughly triangular head and sharp nose. Their long, silky fur ranges in color from pale yellowish buff to tawny brown to almost black. Their head is usually lighter than the rest of their body, while the tail and legs are darker. American marten usually have a characteristic throat and chest bib ranging in color from pale straw to vivid orange.Sexual dimorphism is pronounced, with males averaging about 15% larger than females in length and as much as 65% larger in body weight.
Total length ranges from 1.5 to 2.2 feet (0.5–0.7 m), mm), Adult weight ranges from 1.1 to 3.1 pounds (0.5–1.4 kg) and varies by age and location. Other than size, sexes are similar in appearance. American marten have limited body-fat reserves, experience high mass-specific heat loss, and have a limited fasting endurance. In winter, individuals may go into shallow torpor daily to reduce heat loss.with tail length of 5.4 to 6.4 inches (135–160
American marten activity patterns vary by region,though in general, activity is greater in summer than in winter. American marten may be active as much as 60% of the day in summer but as little as 16% of the day in winter. In north-central Ontario individuals were active about 10 to 16 hours a day in all seasons except late winter, when activity was reduced to about 5 hours a day. In south-central Alaska, American marten were more active in autumn (66% active) than in late winter and early spring (43% active). In northeastern California, more time was spent traveling and hunting in summer than in winter, suggesting that reduced winter activity may be related to thermal and food stress or may be the result of larger prey consumption and consequent decrease in time spent foraging.
American marten may be nocturnal or diurnal. Variability in daily activity patterns has been linked to activity of major prey species,foraging efficiency, gender, reducing exposure to extreme temperatures, season, and timber harvest. In northeastern California, activity in the snow-free season (May–December) was diurnal, while winter activity was largely nocturnal. In south-central Alaska, American marten were nocturnal in autumn, with strong individual variability in diel activity in late winter. Activity occurred throughout the day in late winter and early spring.
Daily distance traveled may vary by age, km), averaging 0.6 mile (0.9 km, observations of 88 individuals). One marten in south-central Alaska repeatedly traveled 7 to 9 miles (11–14 km) overnight to move between 2 areas of home range focal activity. One individual in central Idaho moved as much as 9 miles (14 km) a day in winter, but movements were largely confined to a 1,280-acre (518 ha) area. Juvenile American marten in east-central Alaska traveled significantly farther each day than adults (1.4 miles (2.2 km) vs. 0.9 mile (1.4 km)).gender, habitat quality, season, prey availability, traveling conditions, weather, and physiological condition of the individual. Year-round daily movements in Grand Teton National Park ranged from 0 to 2.83 miles (0–4.57
Weather may impact American marten activity, resting site use, and prey availability. Individuals may become inactive during storms or extreme cold. °F (−20 °C). In southeastern Wyoming, temperature influenced resting site location. Above-snow sites were used during the warmest weather, while subnivean sites were used during the coldest weather, particularly when temperatures were low and winds were high following storms. High mortality may occur if American marten become wet in cold weather, as when unusual winter rains occur during live trapping. In Yosemite National Park, drought conditions increased the diversity of prey items; American marten consumed fish and small mammal species made more accessible by low snow conditions in a drought year.In interior Alaska, a decrease in above-the-snow activity occurred when ambient temperatures fell below −4
A snowy habitat in many parts of the range of the American marten provides thermal protectionand opportunities for foraging and resting. American marten may travel extensively under the snowpack. Subnivean travel routes of >98 feet (30 m) were documented in northeastern Oregon, >33 feet (10 m) on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and up to 66 feet (20 m) in Wyoming.
American marten are well adapted to snow. On the Kenai Peninsula, individuals navigated through deep snow regardless of depth, with tracks rarely sinking >2 inches (5 cm) into the snow pack. Snowfall pattern may affect distribution, with the presence of American marten linked to deep snow areas.
Adaptations to deep snow are particularly important in areas where the American marten is sympatric with the fisher, which may compete with and/or prey on American marten. In California, American marten were closely associated with areas of deep snow (>9 inches (23 cm)/winter month), while fishers were more associated with shallow snow (<5 inches (13 cm)/winter month). Overlap zones were areas with intermediate snow levels. Age and recruitment ratios suggested that there were few reproductive American marten where snow was shallow and few reproductive fishers where snow was deep.
Where deep snow accumulates, American marten prefer cover types that prevent snow from packing hard and have structures near the ground that provide access to sub nivean sites. inches (30 cm). This was attributed to easier burrowing for food and more shrub and log cover.While American marten select habitats with deep snow, they may concentrate activity in patches with relatively shallow snow. In north-central Idaho, American marten activity was highest in areas where snow depths were <12
American marten reach sexual maturity by 1 year of age, but effective breeding may not occur before 2 years of age.In captivity, 15-year-old females bred successfully. In the wild, 12-year-old females were reproductive.
Adult American marten are generally solitary except during the breeding season.They are polygamous, and females may have multiple periods of heat. Females enter estrus in July or August, with courtship lasting about 15 days. Embryonic implantation is delayed until late winter, with active gestation lasting approximately a month. Females give birth in late March or April to a litter ranging from 1 to 5 kits. Annual reproductive output is low according to predictions based on body size. Fecundity varies by age and year and may be related to food abundance.
Females use dens to give birth and to shelter kits. Dens are classified as either natal dens, where parturition takes place, or maternal dens, where females move their kits after birth.American marten females use a variety of structures for natal and maternal denning, including the branches, cavities or broken tops of live trees, snags, stumps, logs, woody debris piles, rock piles, and red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) nests or middens. Females prepare a natal den by lining a cavity with grass, moss, and leaves. They frequently move kits to new maternal dens once kits are 7–13 weeks old. Most females spend more than 50% of their time attending dens in both pre-weaning and weaning periods, with less time spent at dens as kits aged. Paternal care has not been documented.
Weaning occurs at 42 days. Young emerge from dens at about 50 days but may be moved by their mother before this.In northwestern Maine, kits were active but poorly coordinated at 7 to 8 weeks, gaining coordination by 12 to 15 weeks. Young reach adult body weight around 3 months.
Kits generally stay in the company of their mother through the end of their first summer, and most disperse in the fall. km) (range: 17.4–26.8 miles (28.0–43.2 km)) and established home ranges outside of the study area. Three were killed after dispersing distances ranging from 5.3 to 14.6 miles (8.6–23.6 km), and 3 dispersed a mean of 5.0 miles (8.1 km) (range: 3.7–6.0 miles (6.0–9.6 km)) but returned and established home ranges in the area of their original capture. Spring dispersal ended between June and early August, after which individuals remained in the same area and established a home range.The timing of juvenile dispersal is not consistent throughout American marten's distribution, ranging from early August to October. In south-central Yukon, young-of-the-year dispersed from mid-July to mid-September, coinciding with the onset of female estrus. Observations from Oregon and Yukon suggest that juveniles may disperse in early spring. Of 9 juvenile American marten that dispersed in spring in northeastern Oregon, 3 dispersed a mean of 20.7 miles (33.3
American marten are opportunistic predators, influenced by local and seasonal abundance and availability of potential prey.They require about 80 cal/day while at rest, the equivalent of about 3 voles ( Microtus , Myodes , and Phenacomys spp.). Voles dominate diets throughout the American marten's geographic range, though larger prey—particularly snowshoe hares—may be important, particularly in winter. Red-backed voles (Myodes spp.) are generally taken in proportion to their availability, while meadow voles (Microtus' spp.) are taken in excess of their availability in most areas. Deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) and shrews (Soricidae) are generally eaten less than expected, but may be important food items in areas lacking alternative prey species. Birds were the most important prey item in terms of frequency and volume on the Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia. Fish may be important in coastal areas.
American marten diet may shift seasonallyor annually. In general, diet is more diverse in summer than winter, with summer diets containing more fruit, other vegetation, and insects. Diet is generally more diverse in the eastern and southern parts of American marten's distribution compared to the western part, though there is high diversity in the Pacific states. American marten exhibit the least diet diversity in the subarctic, though diversity may also be low in areas where the diet is dominated by large prey species (e.g., snowshoe hares or red squirrels).
American marten may be important seed dispersers; seeds generally pass through the animal intact, and seeds are likely germinable. One study from Chichagof Island, southeast Alaska, found that Alaska blueberry (Vaccinium alaskensis) and ovalleaf huckleberry (V. ovalifolium) seeds had higher germination rates after passing through the gut of American marten compared to seeds that dropped from the parent plant. Analyses of American marten movement and seed passage rates suggested that American marten could disperse seeds long distances: 54% of the distances analyzed were >0.3 mile (0.5 km).
American marten in captivity may live for 15 years. The oldest individual documented in the wild was 14.5 years old. Survival rates vary by geographic region, exposure to trapping, habitat quality, and age. In an unharvested population in northeastern Oregon, the probability of survival of American marten ≥9 months old was 0.55 for 1 year, 0.37 for 2 years, 0.22 for 3 years, and 0.15 for 4 years. The mean annual probability of survival was 0.63 for 4 years.In a harvested population in east-central Alaska, annual adult survival rates ranged from 0.51 to 0.83 over 3 years of study. Juvenile survival rates were lower, ranging from 0.26 to 0.50. In Newfoundland, annual adult survival was 0.83. Survival of juveniles from October to April was 0.76 in a protected population, but 0.51 in areas open to snaring and trapping. In western Quebec, natural mortality rates were higher in clearcut areas than in unlogged areas.
American marten are vulnerable to predation from raptors and other carnivores. The threat of predation may be an important factor shaping American marten habitat preferences, a hypothesis inferred from their avoidance of open areas and from behavioral observations of the European pine marten (Martes martes).Specific predators vary by geographic region. In Newfoundland, red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) were the most frequent predator, though coyote (Canis latrans) and other American marten were also responsible for some deaths. In deciduous forests in northeastern British Columbia, most predation was attributed to raptors. Of 18 American marten killed by predators in northeastern Oregon, 8 were killed by bobcats (Lynx rufus), 4 by raptors, 4 by other American marten, and 2 by coyotes. Throughout the distribution of American marten, other predators include the great horned owl (Bubo virginianus), bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), Canada lynx (L. canadensis), mountain lion (Puma concolor), fisher (M. pennanti), wolverine (Gulo gulo), grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis), American black bear (U. americanus), and grey wolf (C. lupus). In northeastern Oregon, most predation (67%) occurred between May and August, and no predation occurred between December and February.
The fur of the American marten is shiny and luxuriant, resembling that of the closely related sable. At the turn of the twentieth century, the American marten population was depleted due to the fur trade. The Hudson's Bay Company traded in pelts from this species among others. Numerous protection measures and reintroduction efforts have allowed the population to increase, but deforestation is still a problem for the marten in much of its habitat. American marten are trapped for their fur in all but a few states and provinces where they occur.The highest annual take in North America was 272,000 animals in 1820.
Trapping is a major source of American marten mortality in some populationsand may account for up to 90% of all deaths in some areas. Overharvesting has contributed to local extirpations. Trapping may impact population density, sex ratios and age structure. Juveniles are more vulnerable to trapping than adults, and males are more vulnerable than females. American marten are particularly vulnerable to trapping mortality in industrial forests.
Other sources of mortality include drowning,starvation, exposure, choking, and infections associated with injury. During live trapping, high mortality may occur if individuals become wet in cold weather.
American marten host several internal and external parasites, including helminths, fleas (Siphonaptera), and ticks (Ixodida).American marten in central Ontario carried both toxoplasmosis and Aleutian disease, but neither affliction was suspected to cause significant mortality. High American marten mortality in Newfoundland was caused by encephalitis.
The wolverine, Gulo gulo, also referred to as the glutton, carcajou, skunk bear, or quickhatch, is the largest land-dwelling species of the family Mustelidae. It is a stocky and muscular carnivore, more closely resembling a small bear than other mustelids. A solitary animal, it has a reputation for ferocity and strength out of proportion to its size, with the documented ability to kill prey many times larger than itself.
The bobcat is a medium-sized North American cat that first appeared during the Irvingtonian stage around 1.8 million years ago (AEO). Containing two recognized subspecies, it ranges from southern Canada to central Mexico, including most of the contiguous United States. The bobcat is an adaptable predator that inhabits wooded areas, as well as semidesert, urban edge, forest edge, and swampland environments. It remains in some of its original range, but populations are vulnerable to local extinction ("extirpation") by coyotes and domestic animals. With a gray to brown coat, whiskered face, and black-tufted ears, the bobcat resembles the other species of the midsized genus Lynx. It is smaller on average than the Canada lynx, with which it shares parts of its range, but is about twice as large as the domestic cat. It has distinctive black bars on its forelegs and a black-tipped, stubby tail, from which it derives its name.
The snowshoe hare, also called the varying hare, or snowshoe rabbit, is a species of hare found in North America. It has the name "snowshoe" because of the large size of its hind feet. The animal's feet prevent it from sinking into the snow when it hops and walks. Its feet also have fur on the soles to protect it from freezing temperatures.
The Canada lynx is a lynx species native to North America. It ranges across Canada and Alaska extending into the United States portion of the Rocky Mountains. It has been listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List since 2002.
The mountain hare, also known as blue hare, tundra hare, variable hare, white hare, snow hare, alpine hare, and Irish hare, is a Palearctic hare that is largely adapted to polar and mountainous habitats.
The rough-legged buzzard, also called the rough-legged hawk, is a medium-large bird of prey. It is found in Arctic and Subarctic regions of North America and Eurasia during the breeding season and migrates south for the winter. It was traditionally also known as the rough-legged falcon in such works as John James Audubon's The Birds of America.
The sable is a species of marten, a small carnivorous mammal primarily inhabiting the forest environments of Russia, from the Ural Mountains throughout Siberia, and northern Mongolia. Its habitat also borders eastern Kazakhstan, China, North Korea and Hokkaidō, Japan. Its range in the wild originally extended through European Russia to Poland and Scandinavia. Historically, it has been hunted for its highly valued dark brown or black fur, which remains a luxury good to this day. While hunting is still common in Russia, most fur on the market is now commercially farmed.
The great grey owl or great gray owl is a very large owl, documented as the world's largest species of owl by length. It is distributed across the Northern Hemisphere, and it is the only species in the genus Strix found in both Eastern and Western Hemispheres. In some areas it is also called Phantom of the North, cinereous owl, spectral owl, Lapland owl, spruce owl, bearded owl, and sooty owl.
The Canada jay, also gray jay, grey jay, camp robber, or whisky jack, is a passerine bird of the family Corvidae. It is found in boreal forests of North America north to the tree line, and in the Rocky Mountains subalpine zone south to New Mexico and Arizona. A fairly large songbird, the Canada jay has pale grey underparts, darker grey upperparts, and a grey-white head with a darker grey nape. It is one of three members of the genus Perisoreus, a genus more closely related to the magpie genus Cyanopica than to other birds known as jays. The Canada jay itself has nine recognized subspecies.
The spotted owl is a species of true owl. It is a resident species of old-growth forests in western North America, where it nests in tree hollows, old bird of prey nests, or rock crevices. Nests can be between 12 and 60 metres high and usually contain two eggs. It is a nocturnal owl, which feeds on small mammals and birds. Three subspecies are recognized, ranging in distribution from British Columbia to Mexico. The spotted owl is under pressure from habitat destruction throughout its range, and is currently classified as a near-threatened species.
The fisher is a small, carnivorous mammal native to North America. It is a member of the mustelid family, and is in the monospecific genus Pekania. The fisher is closely related to, but larger than, the American marten. 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 sometimes misleadingly referred to as a fisher cat, although it is not a cat.
The American badger is a North American badger, somewhat similar in appearance to the European badger, although not closely related. It is found in the western and central United States, northern Mexico, and south-central Canada to certain areas of southwestern British Columbia.
The meadow vole, sometimes called the field mouse or meadow mouse, is a North American vole found across Canada, Alaska and the northern United States. Its range extends farther south along the Atlantic coast. One subspecies, the Florida salt marsh vole, is found in Florida, and is classified as endangered. Previously it was also found in Chihuahua, Mexico, but has not been recorded since 1998.
The northern red-backed vole is a small slender vole found in Alaska, northern Canada, Scandinavia and northern Russia.
The beech marten, also known as the stone marten, house marten or white breasted marten, is a species of marten native to much of Europe and Central Asia, though it has established a feral population in North America. It is listed as Least Concern by the IUCN on account of its wide distribution, its large population, and its presence in a number of protected areas. It is superficially similar to the pine marten, but differs from it by its smaller size and habitat preferences. While the pine marten is a forest specialist, the beech marten is a more generalist and adaptable species, occurring in a number of open and forest habitats.
The Japanese marten is a mammal in the marten genus most closely related to the sable. It is 0.5 m (1.5 ft) in length typically, not counting a 20-cm-long tail (7.9 in), and between 1,000 and 1,500 grams in weight. Males are generally larger than females. The pelage varies in color from dark brown to dull yellow with a cream-colored throat.
The yellow-throated marten is a marten species native to Asia. It is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List due to its wide distribution, evidently relatively stable population, occurrence in a number of protected areas, and lack of major threats.
The Newfoundland pine marten is a genetically distinct subspecies of the American marten found only on the island of Newfoundland in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada; it is sometimes referred to as the American marten and is one of only 14 species of land mammals native to the island. The marten was listed as endangered by the COSEWIC in 2001 and has been protected since 1934, however the population still declines. The Newfoundland marten has been geographically and reproductively isolated from the mainland marten population for 7000 years. The Newfoundland pine marten is similar in appearance to its continental cousin, but is slightly larger, with dark brown fur with an orange/yellow patch on the throat. Females are an average weight of 772 grams and males have an average weight of 1275 grams. The Newfoundland subspecies is also observed to inhabit a wider range of forest types than its mainland counterparts. The population characteristics suggest that the Newfoundland marten is a product of unique ecological setting and evolutionary selective factors acting on the isolated island population. The Newfoundland pine marten is omnivorous, feeding on mainly small mammals, along with birds, old carcasses, insects and fruits; it is currently found in suitable pockets of mature forest habitat, on the west coast of Newfoundland and in and around Terra Nova National Park. The Pine Marten Study Area (PMSA) is located in southwestern Newfoundland and is a 2078 km2 wildlife reserve that was created in 1973 to protect the Newfoundland Marten.
The North Central Rockies forests is a temperate coniferous forest ecoregion of Canada and the United States. This region gets more rain on average than the South Central Rockies forests and is notable for containing the only inland populations of many species from the Pacific coast.
The northern goshawk is a medium-large raptor in the family Accipitridae, which also includes other extant diurnal raptors, such as eagles, buzzards and harriers. As a species in the genus Accipiter, the goshawk is often considered a "true hawk". The scientific name is Latin; Accipiter is "hawk", from accipere, "to grasp", and gentilis is "noble" or "gentle" because in the Middle Ages only the nobility were permitted to fly goshawks for falconry.
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