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Humboldt Marten Behavior and Reproduction


Oregon & California

Humboldt marten populations are small and isolated in Oregon and California. In fact, the species is listed as federally threatened and endangered in California. To help scientists and forest managers develop a science-based, cohesive management strategy, this WCI project in California and Oregon is gaining a better understanding of their behavior and identifying commonalities among distinct marten populations, such as whether they will travel through openings of certain sizes and how vegetation composition and density impacts their movements.

Project Objectives

  1. Learn how Humboldt martens use and live in forests of differing ages, and how they respond to diverse management techniques.
  2. Gain a better understanding of marten survival and reproductive capacity.
  3. Identify key landscape features that martens need to reproduce and survive, such as denning and resting structures.
  4. Quantify how far martens are willing to move into areas with dense growth and landscapes with diverse vegetation.

Preliminary Research

Between 2019 and 2021, the research team collected, identified, and analyzed scat in southern Oregon from the predators and competitors highlighted above to learn what they had eaten and quantify their risk to Humboldt martens. Since then, the scientists have been summarizing diet data.

What’s Next

The researchers will share early results when they become available while they continue to write multiple species-based natural history papers for publication.

Conservation Success Starts with Keeping Forests Intact

We all have a hand in ensuring conservation of wildlife. When we purchase wood and forest products, we support the sustainable cycle of growing, harvesting and replanting that keeps our forests as forests. Thousands of species call working forests home, and many species thrive in actively managed working forests.