Event Title

Characteristics of American Marten Habitat: A Resource Selection Function for Michigan’s Northern Lower Peninsula

Location

Hager-Lubbers Exhibition Hall

Start Date

10-4-2018 3:30 PM

Description

American marten (Martes americana) are typically associated with old growth coniferous forests. However, habitat use varies across their range and studies should consider possible variations within each population. Little is known about the resource selection and distribution of marten in Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula since their reintroduction in 1985-86. Resource selection functions are valuable tools to estimate the relative probability an animal will utilize an area and predict where they may occur. Our objective was to create a resource selection function for marten in Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula. We hypothesized that marten would select home-ranges with characteristics of more mature coniferous stands. Marten were live-trapped, fitted with VHF or GPS collars, and locations were obtained via radio-tracking VHF collars or re-capturing an individual to download data stored within GPS collars. We estimated 95% fixed-kernel contour home-ranges for 18 marten. Characteristics potentially indicative of marten resource selection were measured within home-ranges marten were using and randomly selected areas available to them. The best-fit logistic regression model indicated percent of coniferous forest, canopy cover, and mixed forest were the top predictors of marten resource selection. We extrapolated our resource selection function to Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula and ~37% was estimated to have a high probability of being used by marten. This model can be used to estimate the full range of marten in Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula and identify regions to conserve or improve to manage for sustainable populations.

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Apr 10th, 3:30 PM

Characteristics of American Marten Habitat: A Resource Selection Function for Michigan’s Northern Lower Peninsula

Hager-Lubbers Exhibition Hall

American marten (Martes americana) are typically associated with old growth coniferous forests. However, habitat use varies across their range and studies should consider possible variations within each population. Little is known about the resource selection and distribution of marten in Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula since their reintroduction in 1985-86. Resource selection functions are valuable tools to estimate the relative probability an animal will utilize an area and predict where they may occur. Our objective was to create a resource selection function for marten in Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula. We hypothesized that marten would select home-ranges with characteristics of more mature coniferous stands. Marten were live-trapped, fitted with VHF or GPS collars, and locations were obtained via radio-tracking VHF collars or re-capturing an individual to download data stored within GPS collars. We estimated 95% fixed-kernel contour home-ranges for 18 marten. Characteristics potentially indicative of marten resource selection were measured within home-ranges marten were using and randomly selected areas available to them. The best-fit logistic regression model indicated percent of coniferous forest, canopy cover, and mixed forest were the top predictors of marten resource selection. We extrapolated our resource selection function to Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula and ~37% was estimated to have a high probability of being used by marten. This model can be used to estimate the full range of marten in Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula and identify regions to conserve or improve to manage for sustainable populations.