American Marten (Martes americana)


  • Adult weight ranges from 1.1 to 3.1 pounds (0.5–1.4 kg)



Global Status: G5 = Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
State Rank: S2 = Imperiled in Wisconsin because of rarity (6 to 20 occurrences or few remaining individuals or acres) or because of some factor(s) making it very vulnerable to extirpation from the state.
State Status: Endangered
(Status information obtained from Wisconsin Natural Heritage Working List)

Researchers estimate there are fewer than 200 in the Nicolet national forest and 30 to 100 in the Chequamegon. (From


Habitat Requirements

  • Den and rest-site characteristics: (LINK)
  • Potentially useful research, but no(?) output generated yet
  • Presence of course woody debris (CWD) increases hunting success
    • increase encounters, attacks, and kills of voles by Martens in uncut vs. regenerating stands in boreal forest (Andruskiw et al 2008)
      • uncut = 80-120 year old mixtures of jack pine, black spruce, and trembling aspen
      • regenerating = clear cut with some selection harvesting (group? single tree?) 20-55 years ago, ~10% clearcut in past 10 years, ~10% residual uncut forest
  • habitat preference - Hargis et al 1999

Feeding Habits


  • Winter Diet Analysis (Andruskiw et al 2008)

    • Red-backed voles (Clethrionomys gapperi) are the most common species in marten diets
      • Red-baked vole populations did not differ significantly in abundance between regenerating and "uncut" forest, although marten hunting success (in terms of encounters, attacks, and kills) was greater in the uncut forests
        • study sites = boreal forest in Ontario, dominated by jack pine, black spruce, and trembling aspen of 80-120 years, originating from fire
        • Also note that studies in boreal forests found red-backed voles are more common in uncut than regenerating boreal forest, but other trappings in the current study area corroborate the lack of difference between forest types(?)
        • abundance of CWD typically declines after forest harvest to a minimum at approximately 55 years, and then increases again with second growth senescence
  • will also feed on other small mammals
  • Martens store relatively little body fat, and must balance their energy budget nearly daily (Buskirk and Harlow 1989)
  • Food Requirements (from Gilbert et al 2009)

    • 179g fresh matter per day in Autumn (equals approximately seven red-backed voles (25g each) or 0.9 red squirrels (200g each))
    • 126g fresh matter per day in Winter (approximately five red-backed voles or 0.6 red squirrels)




  • mortality ~ season and location? (habitat suitability?)
    • seasonal and sexual variation:
Marten mortality, from McCann et al 2010.

  • McCann et al (2010) also report a range of survival probabilities from various studies, classified by sex, general habitat type, and whether or not trapping was allowed in the area
    • don't specify habitat specific variation in mortality
    • attribute mortality to different causes, but don't address in context of ratio of predator:marten; just radiodays:predator (doesn't really inform about the rate of predation by different species)
  • Thompson and Colgan (1994) report daily survival and mortality rates of marten in either uncut or clear-cut forests; also broken down by sex; overall:
    • uncut forest daily survival = 99.897
    • cut forest daily survival = 99.555


  • Nams and Bourgeois 2004

Agent Rules

Marten ODD protocol

Modeling Landscape Characteristics

  • Image Segmentation
    • leaf-off images appear to do the best job (vs. leaf-on and composite)
    • question about minimum segmentation size - 100, 500, 1000, or 1500 pixels?
      • what size is most relevant to marten?
      • what size produces distribution of stand sizes most similar to any actual data?
        • need to mask out non-forest
        • compare segmentation results to stand size stats from NIPF owners?
  • Forest Attribute Data Sources


Andruskiw, M. et al., 2008. Habitat-mediated variation in predation risk by the American marten. Ecology, 89(8), p.2273-2280. Available at:

Buskirk And Harlow H, S.W., 1989. Body-Fat dynamics of the american marten (Martes americana) in winter. Journal of Mammalogy, 70(1), p.191-193.

Dumyahn, J B, P A Zollner, and J H Gilbert. 2007. Winter home-range characteristics of American marten (//Martes americana//) in northern Wisconsin. American Midland Naturalist 158(2), 382-394.

Gilbert, J.H. et al., 2009. Seasonal field metabolic rates of american martens in Wisconsin. American Midland Naturalist, 162(2), p.327-334.

Hargis, C.D., Bissonette, J.A. & Turner, D.L., 1999. The influence of forest fragmentation and landscape pattern on American martens. Journal of Applied Ecology, 36(1), p.157-172.

McCann, N. P., Zollner, P. A., & Gilbert, J. H., 2010. Survival of adult American marten in Northern Wisconsin.. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 74, 1502-1507.

Nams, V.O. & Bourgeois, M., 2004. Fractal analysis measures habitat use at different spatial scales: an example with American marten. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 82, p.1738-1747.

Sturtevant, B. J., J. A. Bissonette, Nd J. N. Long. 1996. Temporal and spatial dynamics of forest structure in western Newfoundland: Silvicultural implications for marten habitat management. Forest Ecology and Management. 87:13-25.

Sturtevant, B. J., J. A. Bissonette, J. N. Long, and D. W. Roberts. 1997. Coarse woody debris as a function of age, stand structure, and disturbance in boreal Newfoundland. Ecological Applications 7(2):702-712.