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Marten
  • A relative of the mink, fisher, and weasel, the American marten has a valuable pelt that is soft and dense.
  • The marten is brownish in color with an orange- or buff-colored patch on its throat. It has a long, bushy tail; short legs; large feet; a pointed snout; and small ears.
  • This furbearer is found most often in coniferous forests with cedar, balsam, spruce, and hemlock trees. It prefers areas with stumps, branches, and leaves where it can find rodents and other small mammals for food.
  • Because it is small and a good climber, the marten may build a nest inside a woodpecker's hole in a tree. It also uses hollow logs, piles of rocks, a squirrel's nest, or an underground hole as a den.
  • Young martens are born blind and furless. They open their eyes when they are five to six weeks old and are weaned from the mother at six weeks old.
  • Due to its high rate of metabolism, this furbearer eats a lot of food. This, along with its curiosity, makes the marten easy to trap.
  • Martens are solitary animals. If two martens meet, they usually bare their teeth and snarl at each other.
  • Generally, the American marten is not endangered in the U.S. and Canada. However, there are some states where this animal has been extirpated or is endangered.
Marten map
American Marten Range
Marten track
American Marten Range

American Marten Facts

  • Mating: polygamous.
  • Breeding period: late July or early August.
  • Gestation period: 8½ - 9 months.
  • Birth period: mid-March to late April.
  • Litters per year: 1.
  • Number of young: 1 to 5 per litter; average 3.
  • Age females can breed: 1 year.
  • Adult weight: 1½ to 2¾ pounds; male is larger than female.
  • Life expectancy: 8 to 10 years.
  • Feeding time: primarily nocturnal but may be active in the early morning and late afternoon.
  • Movement: usually stays within 1 mile of home but may go as far as 15 miles away.
  • Typical foods: red-backed voles and other rodents, red squirrels and other small mammals, carrion, reptiles, insects, birds and bird eggs, fruits, and nuts.