Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


Diet of Kit-rearing Female Martens in Northern Michigan


Biology Department


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


Life Sciences


The American marten (Martes americana) is a small, slender-bodied, carnivorous mammal found throughout the northern portion of North America. Our study focused on the populations in the Manistee National Forest in Michigans Lower Peninsula and the Hiawatha National Forest in Michigans Upper Peninsula. A large limiting factor on American marten populations is food availability due to their high metabolism and low fat storage. This can be especially important for lactating females that may have up to five kits to sustain. We seek to obtain an understanding of reproducing female marten diets in order to maintain optimal marten habitat. Kit-rearing female martens were fitted with radio collars and radio telemetry used to track them to den sites. Scat, prey remains and remotely-triggered cameras were used to identify diet components. This is novel research that can be used by the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, the Sault Sainte Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, the United States Forest Service and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to manage for marten habitat in Michigan.

Conference Name

The Wildlife Society Annual Conference

Conference Location

Pittsburg, PA

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