Student Summer Scholars




We tracked and documented the den sites and number of kits for three female American marten within Manistee National Forest from April through August 2013. Kits were monitored using remote, motion-triggered trail cameras, and kit activity times were documented. The mothers were located two to three times per week using radio telemetry. A total of 7 kits documented with only 6 surviving into the rigorous tracking season and only 4 known survivors into mid-July. Nineteen unique den sites were documented in three different areas of marten use (Olga Lake, Pine River and Caberfae), and 12 of those had cavities at ground level. All of the den structures were in live trees (84.2%), snags (10.5%) and fallen logs (5.3%). The average DBH of den trees in each area were: Olga Lake-61.95cm, Pine River- 38.88cm and Caberfae-47.58cm. When each was compared to a randomly chosen tree within a random plot in the same area a significant difference was found for all three areas indicating selection for trees with a larger diameter. Basal area was not found be significantly different and neither did a comparison of the DBH of trees surrounding the den tree in comparison to the random plot (Caberfae is the exception to the latter, a significant difference was found.) Kit survival may be limiting the population but denning sites do not; however, management for mature hardwoods and pine stands is recommended.