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Chapter 2: American marten

Posted date: May 24, 2007
Publication Year: 
1994
Authors: Buskirk, Steven W.; Ruggiero, Leonard F.
Publication Series: 
General Technical Report (GTR)
Source: In: Ruggiero, Leonard F.; Aubry, Keith B.; Buskirk, Steven W.; Lyon, L. Jack; Zielinski, William J., tech. eds. The scientific basis for conserving forest carnivores: American marten, fisher, lynx, and wolverine in the western United States. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-254. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. p. 7-37
Note: This article is part of a larger document.

Abstract

The American marten (Martes americana), also called the marten or American sable, is a carnivorous mammal about the size of a small house cat. Its total length is between 500 and 680 mm and it weighs 500-1400 g as an adult, depending on sex and geography (Buskirk and McDonald 1989; Strickland et al. 1982). The male is 20-40% larger than, but otherwise similar in appearance to, the female. Both sexes are furred with glossy hair of medium length, are tan to chocolate in color, and have an irregular neck or throat patch ranging from pale cream to bright amber. Its face is pointed and foxlike in shape, its torso is slender, and its legs and tail are intermediate in length and darkly furred. Each foot has five toes, all of which touch the ground, and the claws are light in color and semiretractable (Buskirk 1994; Clark and Stromberg 1987). Although its close relatives include skunks and other species with powerful scent glands, the marten, even when frightened, produces odors only weakly perceptible to humans.

Citation

Buskirk, Steven W.; Ruggiero, Leonard F. 1994. Chapter 2: American marten. In: Ruggiero, Leonard F.; Aubry, Keith B.; Buskirk, Steven W.; Lyon, L. Jack; Zielinski, William J., tech. eds. The scientific basis for conserving forest carnivores: American marten, fisher, lynx, and wolverine in the western United States. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-254. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. p. 7-37