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Pine Marten

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The pine marten is omnivorous, eating small mammals, birds, insects, carrion, frogs, reptiles, snails, crabs, echinoderms, barnacles, fruits, and berries, but relies on small mammals for most of the year.

The pine marten is omnivorous and favors animal food, relying on small mammals for most of the year.

Favored foods include voles, squirrels, other small mammals, birds, insects, carrion, frogs, reptiles, and snails. The diets of pine martens that forage along a loch in Scotland have been recorded to include crabs, echinoderms, and barnacles.

Sources: (Schwanz, 2000)
Image: Joanne Goldby

Pine Marten

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Pine martens prefer nesting underground during the cold winter, but hollow trees, squirrel nests, abandoned bird nests, and rock crevices are also used as hideaways.

Pine martens prefer nesting in hollow trees, but squirrel nests, abandoned bird nests, and rock crevices are alse used as hideaways. At colder ambient temperatures in the winter, martens more frequently choose to rest underground.

An individual pine marten can have several nests within the home range.

Sources: (Schwanz, 2000)
Image: Kentish Plumber

Pine Marten

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Pine martens forage extensively in treetops and on the forest floor throughout the summer and autumn in order to store their food and compensate for low winter resources.

Pine martens store their food in the summer and autumn to compensate for low winter resources.

Foraging occurs within the treetops, as well as extensively on the forest floor. In habitats other than forest, all foraging is completed on the ground.

Sources: (Clevenger, 1993; Grzimek, 1990; Schwanz, 2000; Zalewski, Jedrzejewski, & Jedrzejewska, 1995)
Image: MaxMann

Pine Marten

https://faunafocus.com/february-2019/#jp-carousel-13349

Pine martens experience a “false heat” in late winter in which increased aggressive social behavior forces the dispersal of remaining young before the new litter is born.

Social behavior of the pine marten intensifies in late winter, between February and March, as evidenced by increased scent marking frequency, intersexual tolerance, intrasexual aggression, and hormonal levels. The term “false heat” has been applied to this behavioral enigma.

This was initially thought to be a mating period, but it is clear that mating does not occur until summer. In addition, males have not undergone spermatogenesis yet. This does correspond to implantation and the beginnings of pregnancy, however.

Due to the unexplained occurrence of extra, subadult individuals only in the early winter months, it has been suggested that the aggressive behavior serves to force dispersal of these remaining young from the previous summer before the new litter is born.

Sources: (Clevenger, 1993; Nowak, 1999; Schröepfer, Wiegand, & Hogrefe, 1997; Schwanz, 2000; Zalewski, Jedrzejewski, & Jedrzejewska, 1995)
Image: Thomas Shahan

Pine Marten

https://faunafocus.com/february-2019/#jp-carousel-13325

On the island of Minorca, pine martens are habitat generalists and live in shrubland, rather than forests, possibly because of the absence of predators.

Although pine martens favor tree cover, they can be found outside of forests.

On the island of Minorca, the pine marten shows no habitat preference, acting as a habitat generalist, rather than a habitat specialist. On this island, they live in shrubland and are seemingly indifferent to tree cover.

It is thought that the absence of predators on the island has allowed the martens to become habitat generalists.

Sources: (Clevenger, 1994; Schwanz, 2000)
Image: Bruno Pesenti

Pine Marten

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Pine martens are born blind, deaf, and toothless with thick, short fur and don’t begin emerging from the den until 7-8 weeks later.

At birth, young pine martens weigh about 30 grams. They are blind, deaf, and toothless, and have thick, short fur. In the nest, young pine marten communicate to their mother by twittering.

The eyes open at 34-38 days. Young martens begin consuming solid food at 36-45 days, and weaning occurs about six weeks after parturition. At 7-8 weeks, the young emerge from the den and may begin dispersing at 12-16 weeks, during the breeding season. Some young may overwinter in the natal territory and disperse in the following spring.

Juvenile pine martens acquire their adult pelage in their first winter.

Sources: (Corbet & Southern, 1977; Grzimek, 1990; Mead, 1994; Nowak, 1999; Schwanz, 2000)
Image: Joanne Goldby

Pine Marten

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The pine marten’s home range may have high individual and geographical size variation as estimates vary widely between studies.

Pine marten home range size estimates vary widely between studies. There is either high individual and geographical variation in pine marten home range size, or difficulty in measurement by researchers.

Some sources give an average of 23 square kilometers for males and 6.5 square kilometers for females, others estimate only 2.2 square kilometers for males and 1.5 square kilometers for females. On the island of Minorca, ranges were measured as 0.5 square kilometers for females and 6.9 square kilometers for males.

Sources: (Clevenger, 1993; Nowak, 1999; Schwanz, 2000; Zalewski, Jedrzejewski, & Jedrzejewska, 1995)
Image: Ott Rebane

Pine Marten

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The average lifespan of a pine marten in the wild is 10 years, but in captivity, they can live up to 17 years, averaging 15.

The average lifespan of a pine marten in the wild is 10 years, but in captivity, they can live up to 17 years. The average lifespan of a captive pine marten is 15 years.

Sources: (Grzimek, 1990; Mead, 1994; Schwanz, 2000; Stroganov, 1969)
Image: Big-AshB

Pine Marten

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The pine marten inhabits forest habitats, including deciduous, mixed, and coniferous forest and prefers old-growth forest over young forest.

The pine marten is considered to be a habitat specialist. Having a closed treetop as cover from predation is thought to be an important habitat criterion for the species.

As such, the pine marten prefers forest habitats, including deciduous, mixed, and coniferous forest. Old-growth forest is often preferred over young forest.

Sources: (Clevenger, 1994; Overskaug, Broseth, & Knutsen, 1994; Schwanz, 2000)
Image: 422737

Pine Marten

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Pine martens are solitary except when young are in the nest, but can tolerate independent subadults that did not disperse in their first fall.

Pine martens are solitary except when young are in the nest.

Independent subadults are tolerated within the range of adult animals, but these may represent offspring that did not disperse in their first fall.

Sources: (Schröepfer, Wiegand, & Hogrefe, 1997; Schwanz, 2000)
Image: Phil Fiddes

Pine Marten

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The diet composition and proportion of the pine marten changes according to season and local conditions as they respond to unpredictable rodent booms and seasonally available fruits and berries.

The diet composition and proportion of the pine marten often changes according to season and local conditions.

Populations respond to the unpredictable cycles of rodents, such as voles, by drastically increasing their consumption of these prey items. The reproductive characteristics of the pine marten prevents it from closely tracking the rodent cycles, however, as a population increase is seen a full year after a rodent boom.

Aside from the effects of seasonally available fruits and unpredictable rodent booms, the diet of the pine marten is otherwise reasonably constant.

Sources: (Clevenger, 1993; Schwanz, 2000; Zalewski, Jedrzejewski, & Jedrzejewska, 1995)
Image: Joanne Goldby

Pine Marten

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The coloration of the pine marten includes a rich brown base coat; an irregular, creamy-orange throat patch; a grayish tint on the belly; and darkening on the paws.

The coloration of the pine marten includes a rich brown base coat; an irregular, creamy-orange throat patch; a grayish tint on the belly; and darkening on the paws.

The ears are relatively large and triangular.

Sources: (Corbet & Southern, 1977; Grzimek, 1990; Nowak, 1999; Schwanz, 2000)
Image: Michele Lamberti

Pine Marten

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The winter coat of the pine marten has always been in high demand; as such, the species has been successfully kept on fur farms, but trade of the fur on a large, commercial scale hasn’t been feasible.

The thick and silky, rich, brown winter coat of the pine marten has always been in high demand. As such, the species has been successfully kept on fur farms.

Life history characteristics, however, prevent trade of pine marten fur from being feasible on a large, commercial scale.

Sources: (Corbet & Southern, 1977; Grzimek, 1990; Nowak, 1999; Schwanz, 2000)
Image: Neil McIntosh

Pine Marten

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As in many mustelids, reproduction in pine martens is tied closely to the seasonality of their temperate habitats, specifically to the increase of daylight in the spring.

Reproduction in pine martens is tied closely to the seasonality of their temperate habitats, as it is in many members of the family Mustelidae.

Mating and fertilization occurs in July and August and is followed by a period of delayed implantation that lasts about seven months. Implantation occurs in late February and March. The timing of implantation responds to photoperiod, specifically to the spring’s increase in duration of daylight. Postimplantation development lasts 30-35 days, and parturition occurs in late March through April.

Sources: (Schwanz, 2000)
Image: Joanne Goldby

Pine Marten

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Pine martens are nocturnal, mostly active during the night and at dusk.

Pine martens are nocturnal, mostly active during the night and at dusk.

Male pine martens cover more distance at night with further travel in the spring and summer than the autumn and winter.

Sources: (Schröepfer, Wiegand, & Hogrefe, 1997; Schwanz, 2000; Zalewski, Jedrzejewski, & Jedrzejewska, 1995)
Image: Steve Oliver

Pine Marten

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In Scotland, pine martens are habitat generalists, rather than habitat specialists, and frequent many habitat types such as forest plantations, coarse grassland, and grass moorlands.

In Scotland, pine martens are habitat generalists, rather than habitat specialists, and frequent many habitat types.

They are seen in young forest plantations, coarse grassland, heather and grass moorland, and borders. Stone dykes are used as runways to get from area to another.

Sources: (Schwanz, 2000)
Image: David Little

https://faunafocus.com/february-2019/#jp-carousel-13328

Pine Marten (Martes martes)

FaunaFocus is entering February 2019 and featuring a new small mammal, the pine marten! This omnivorous and arboreal creature is native to the Eurasian area and has many physical attributions that help it climb trees, such as a long tail, powerful forearms, and acrobatic abilities. This nocturnal animal is listed as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

 

GET INVOLVED

Create art inspired by the pine marten and share it in the FaunaFocus Discord Server or on social media with #faunafocus. Learn about more ways to get involved with FaunaFocus!

 

EVENTS
Event Date Time (CST)
SketchAlong February 8 7:00 pm
Free-For-All: Deadline February 26 12:00 pm
Free-For-All: Livestream February 27 7:00 pm

Image: Mathias Appel

Pine Marten

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The pine marten has a rich brown fur coat that is thick and silky in the winter and short and coarse in the summer, after an annual molt in the spring.

The pine marten has a rich brown fur coat that is thick and silky in the winter and short and coarse in the summer. A complete molt occurs only once a year in the spring and the winter fur begins growing in September. The pads on the marten’s soles are also completely covered with fur in the winter.

Juvenile pine martens acquire their adult pelage in their first winter.

Sources: (Corbet & Southern, 1977; Grzimek, 1990; Nowak, 1999; Schwanz, 2000)
Image: Vince Smith

Pine Marten

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Pine martens have no known negative effects on humans and have never been known as a pest as they avoid human settlements.

Pine martens have no known negative effects on humans. They avoid human settlements and have never been known as a pest.

Sources: (Grzimek, 1990; Schwanz, 2000)
Image: Vince Smith

Pine Marten

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The pine marten’s medium-size substantially varies geographically and males outweigh females by 12-30%.

The pine marten is a medium-sized carnivore, about the size of a large domestic cat with similar proportions. Its head and body length is 450-580 mm and tail length is 160-280 mm.

There is substantial size variation found geographically.

Sexual dimorphism is also seen in size, with males outweighing females by 12-30%.

Sources: (Corbet & Southern, 1977; Grzimek, 1990; Nowak, 1999; Schwanz, 2000)
Image: Joanne Goldby

Pine Marten

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Although the home range size of the pine marten is uncertain, it’s clear that male ranges are larger than female ranges and that they overlap those of one or more females.

Although home range size estimates of the pine marten vary widely between studies, it is clear that male ranges are larger than female ranges and that they overlap those of one or more females. Home ranges within both sexes, however, are usually non-overlapping.

Some sources give an average of 23 square kilometers for males and 6.5 square kilometers for females, others estimate only 2.2 square kilometers for males and 1.5 square kilometers for females. On the island of Minorca, ranges were measured as 0.5 square kilometers for females and 6.9 square kilometers for males.

Sources: (Clevenger, 1993; Nowak, 1999; Schwanz, 2000; Zalewski, Jedrzejewski, & Jedrzejewska, 1995)
Image: Thomas Shahan

Pine Marten

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In the wild, pine martens may mate in their first summer at 14 months of age, but in captivity most males don’t breed until 27 months old.

In the wild, male and female pine martens may mate in their first summer, at 14 months of age. The first mating season, however, may typically be deferred until the second or third year.

In captivity, most males do not breed until 27 months old. This could be due to stress incurred under captive conditions or inaccuracy in aging wild animals.

Sources: (Mead, 1994; Schwanz, 2000)
Image: Phil Fiddes

Pine Marten

https://faunafocus.com/february-2019/#jp-carousel-13327

In highly seasonal habitats, the size of the pine marten’s home range changes seasonally, shrinking up to 54% during the colder seasons as martens cover less distance at night.

In the majority of the pine marten’s range, where the habitat is highly seasonal, range size changes seasonally. The autumn/winter ranges can be 8-54% smaller than the spring/summer ranges.

This range difference is also reflected in the distances covered by males at night, with further travel in the summer than the winter.

Sources: (Schröepfer, Wiegand, & Hogrefe, 1997; Schwanz, 2000; Zalewski, Jedrzejewski, & Jedrzejewska, 1995)
Image: Joanne Goldby

Pine Marten

https://faunafocus.com/february-2019/#jp-carousel-13354

Pine martens are skillful treetop hunters and adept climbers with many physical adaptations, such as a long tail and powerful forelimbs, fit for their arboreal, acrobatic lifestyle.

Pine martens are skillful treetop hunters and adept climbers with many physical adaptations fit for their arboreal, acrobatic lifestyle. They are frequently found racing on thin, swinging branches and leaping from one treetop to another in pursuit of small prey, especially squirrels.

The pine marten has a long, bushy tail to aid in balancing, well-developed claws, and a bone and muscle structure that aids its powerful forelimbs.

Sources: (Clevenger, 1993; Corbet & Southern, 1977; Grzimek, 1990; Nowak 1999; Schwanz, 2000; Zalewski, Jedrzejewski, & Jedrzejewska, 1995)
Image: Zweer de Bruin

Judges
Noelle M. Brooks Eternity
Date January 2019 Theme Tasmanian Devil
Entries 6 Winner SarahKWilsonArt

The first FaunaFocus Free-For-All of 2019, featuring the Tasmanian devil, has come to an end and six artists took on the challenge. With ink, pastel, graphite, and even 3D-modeling, several different types of media were used to represent the marsupial with several choosing to represent the devil’s interesting markings and threatening gape expression.

Congratulations to January 2018’s FaunaFocus Free-For-All Winner, SarahKWilsonArt who utilized an array of highly saturated colors and patterns to create a vivid, eye-catching composition. The judges were enticed by the provocative imagery and drawn to the variety of techniques and textures used.

SarahKWilsonArt will choose the FaunaFocus for March 2019, which will be announced at the end of February’s Free-For-All critique livestream. Last month’s Free-For-All winner, DoctorMiawoo has chosen the next FaunaFocus for the month of February, the pine marten!

 


FaunaFocus Calendar | Free-For-All | Free-For-All Archives

https://faunafocus.com/home/january-2019-tasmanian-devil/#jp-carousel-12978

At one time, Tasmanian devils were in danger of extinction due to persecution by settlers and destruction of forest habitat, but populations have since stabilized due to protective laws.

Today, the Tasmanian devil is a Tasmanian icon, but they were once considered nuisance animals by early European settlers of Hobart Town who complained of raids on poultry yards.

In 1830, the Van Diemen’s Land Company introduced a bounty scheme to remove Tasmanian devils, as well as thylacines (Thylacinus cynocephalus) and wild dogs, from their northwest properties. They offered 2/6 (25 cents) for male devils and 3/6 (35 cents) for females.

For more than a century, Tasmanian devils were trapped and poisoned. They became very rare, seemingly headed for extinction, but the population gradually increased after they were protected by law in June 1941. Populations stabilized and may have also increased due to the increased availability of carrion in rangelands.

Tasmanian devils are now protected wholly in Tasmania, but if this apex predator does become extinct, all wildlife in Tasmania will be affected.

Sources: (Boyce, 2018; Fahey & Kinder, 2001; Nowak, 1999; Save the Tasmanian Devil Program, April 2018)
Image: Gopal Vijayaraghavan

https://faunafocus.com/home/january-2019-tasmanian-devil/#jp-carousel-13002

Tasmanian devils love water and are very good swimmers and will wade, splash about, sit, and lie down in water to stay cool.

Tasmanian devils are very good swimmers, however if they have young in the pouch, they avoid swimming for more than very short distances. Tasmanian devils actually love water and will wade and splash about, even sitting or lying down in it to stay cool.

They will often dabble in water with their front paws, somewhat in the manner of racoons. Tasmanian devils will sometimes store food in water and can even take a breath and “duck dive”.

Sources: (Save the Tasmanian Devil Program, April 2018)
Image: Zweer de Bruin

https://faunafocus.com/home/january-2019-tasmanian-devil/#jp-carousel-12976

Both males and female Tasmanian devils den in hollow logs, caves, or burrows, and make nests of bark, grass, and leaves, which they inhabit throughout the day.

Both males and female tasmanian devils make simple nests of bark, grass, and leaves, which they inhabit throughout the day. Their dens are typically located in hollow logs, caves, or burrows.

Sources: (Fahey & Kinder, 2001; Nowak, 1999; Save the Tasmanian Devil Program, April 2018)
Image: Nicolás Boullosa

https://faunafocus.com/home/january-2019-tasmanian-devil/#jp-carousel-12993

Tasmanian devils have massive heads with well-developed jaw muscles and heavy molar teeth adapted for crushing bones and tearing through thick muscle and skin.

The head of the tasmanian devil is massive and broad with well-developed jaw muscles.

Their big, strong molar teeth are heavy and adapted for their role in crushing bone and tearing through muscle and thick skin.

Tasmanian devils are ferocious when attacked and because they are impressively armed with heavy jaw musculature and robust teeth, they are able to protect themselves against larger predators.

Sources: (Fahey & Kinder, 2001; Save the Tasmanian Devil Program, April 2018)
Image: Mathias Appel

https://faunafocus.com/home/january-2019-tasmanian-devil/#jp-carousel-12983

Although Tasmanian devils are not territorial, they stay within relatively small home ranges and can travel up to 16km a night in search of food.

Although Tasmanian devils are not territorial, they stay within relatively small home ranges. Home ranges can be very large if resources are scarce, however.

They can can roam considerable distances, up to 16 kilometers, along well-defined trails in search of food and average 3.2 kilometers, or 2 miles, traveled in a night in search of food.

Sources: (Fahey & Kinder, 2001; Nowak, 1999; Save the Tasmanian Devil Program, April 2018)
Image: emmett anderson

https://faunafocus.com/home/january-2019-tasmanian-devil/#jp-carousel-12987

Tasmanian devils typically acquire the Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD) during the bite-filled breeding season as this transferrable cancer is passed through contact.

Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD) is passed from tasmanian devil to tasmanian devil through physical contact, including biting associated with copulation and fighting. Because this transferrable cancer is passed through biting, it is mostly passed on during the breeding season.

The live tumour cells aren’t rejected by the devil’s immune system because of the cancer’s ability to ‘hide’ from the immune system.

Sources: (Boyce, 2018; Bradshaw & Brook, 2005; Fahey & Kinder, 2001; Nowak, 1999; Save the Tasmanian Devil Program, April 2018,November 2018)
Image: Shane Lin

https://faunafocus.com/home/january-2019-tasmanian-devil/#jp-carousel-13006

Tasmanian devils most often live to five-years-old in the wild, but they can live up to seven or eight years.

Tasmanian devils most often live to a maximum of five-years-old in the wild, but they can live up to seven or eight years.

Most young die immediately after dispersing out of their natal range as a result of food scarcity or competition.

Sources: (Fahey & Kinder, 2001; Nowak, 1999; Save the Tasmanian Devil Program, April 2018)
Image: Aaron Fellmeth Photography

https://faunafocus.com/home/january-2019-tasmanian-devil/#jp-carousel-12991

As in many dasyurids, Tasmanian devils store their fat in their tails.

As in many dasyurids, Tasmanian devils store their fat in their tails.
Their tails range in length from 230-300 millimeters.

Sources: (Fahey & Kinder, 2001)
Image: Mathias Appel