Marten - Martes americana
This house cat-sized animal is distinctly weasel-like in appearance. Has short legs, prominent ears, pointed face, and a well-furred tail constituting one-third of its total length. Stiff glossy guard hairs with dense silky under-fur. The soft, dense, yellowish-brown fur shades to dark brown on its bushy tail and legs. Pale buff to orange patch on throat and breast. Has ability to rotate hind limbs to enable descending trees headfirst. Total length: 21 to 26 inches. Weight: 1.5 to 2.75 pounds.
Mink has white patch on chin. Fisher is larger, dark brown with grizzled head and back. Red Fox has white tip on tail.
Western Hemisphere Range
Summary of Observations Submitted for Montana
Number of Observations:
(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version)
Map Help and Descriptions
(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)
Primarily a boreal animal preferring mature conifer or mixed wood forests. Severe forest disturbance can significantly reduce habitat value. Uses deadfall and snags as den sites. In Glacier National Park, most often located in mesic spruce and subalpine fir types. Stands averaged 35% canopy cover. Martens often traveled along forest cover/open area ecotones. Maternity dens in rock outcrops, tree cavities (O'Neill 1980, Burnett 1981).
Ecological Systems Associated with this Species
- Details on Creation and Suggested Uses and Limitations
How Associations Were Made
We associated the use and habitat quality (high, medium, or low) of each of the 82 ecological systems mapped in Montana for
vertebrate animal species that regularly breed, overwinter, or migrate through the state by:
- Using personal observations and reviewing literature that summarize the breeding, overwintering, or migratory habitat requirements of each species (Dobkin 1992, Hart et al. 1998, Hutto and Young 1999, Maxell 2000, Foresman 2001, Adams 2003, and Werner et al. 2004);
- Evaluating structural characteristics and distribution of each ecological system relative to the species’ range and habitat requirements;
- Examining the observation records for each species in the state-wide point database associated with each ecological system;
- Calculating the percentage of observations associated with each ecological system relative to the percent of Montana covered by each ecological system to get a measure of “observations versus availability of habitat”.
Species that breed in Montana were only evaluated for breeding habitat use, species that only overwinter in Montana were only evaluated for overwintering habitat use, and species that only migrate through Montana were only evaluated for migratory habitat use.
In general, species were associated as using an ecological system if structural characteristics of used habitat documented in the literature were present in the ecological system or large numbers of point observations were associated with the ecological system.
However, species were not associated with an ecological system if there was no support in the literature for use of structural characteristics in an ecological system, even if
point observations were associated with that system.
High, medium, and low habitat quality was assigned based on the degree to which the structural characteristics of an ecological system matched the preferred structural habitat characteristics for each species in the literature.
The percentage of observations associated with each ecological system relative to the percent of Montana covered by each ecological system was also used to guide assignments of habitat quality.
If you have any questions or comments on species associations with ecological systems, please contact Bryce Maxell at email@example.com
or (406) 444-3655.
Suggested Uses and Limitations
Species associations with ecological systems should be used to generate potential lists of species that may occupy broader landscapes for the purposes of landscape-level planning.
These potential lists of species should not be used in place of documented occurrences of species (this information can be requested at: http://mtnhp.org/requests/default.asp
) or systematic surveys for species and evaluations of habitat at a local site level by trained biologists.
Users of this information should be aware that the land cover data used to generate species associations is based on imagery from the late 1990s and early 2000s and was only intended to be used at broader landscape scales.
Land cover mapping accuracy is particularly problematic when the systems occur as small patches or where the land cover types have been altered over the past decade.
Thus, particular caution should be used when using the associations in assessments of smaller areas (e.g., evaluations of public land survey sections).
Finally, although a species may be associated with a particular ecological system within its known geographic range, portions of that ecological system may occur outside of the species’ known geographic range.
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- Dobkin, D. S. 1992. Neotropical migrant land birds in the Northern Rockies and Great Plains. USDA Forest Service, Northern Region. Publication No. R1-93-34. Missoula, MT.
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- Commonly Associated with these Ecological Systems
Forest and Woodland Systems
Shrubland, Steppe and Savanna Systems
Wetland and Riparian Systems
Eats a variety of animal and plant materials associated with the mature forest. Is an opportunistic feeder that primarily feeds on a variety of small mammals. Meadow Voles and Red-backed Voles were staples in Glacier National Park. Also used Cricetidae, jumping mice, shrews, and ground squirrels. Use of birds, insects, and fruit variable by season. Will use snowshoe hares (O'Neill 1980).
Populations fluctuate in response to prey availability, juvenile dispersal, and mortality of adult females. Average home range for adult male = 2.9 sq km, female = 0.7 sq km, resident juveniles = 0.7 sq km (Burnett 1981).
Mates during summer with young born during April. Exhibits delayed implantation and an eight- to nine-month gestation. Average litter size is two to four. Breeds in July and August. Implantation occured February 22 and April 10. Parturition 25 to 28 days after implantation. Delayed implantation period of 8 months. Gestation of 9 months.
- Additional ReferencesLegend: View WorldCat Record View Online Publication
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