Marten or Pine Marten - The Martens of British Columbia, Canada - Martens in BC


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British Columbia Outdoor Wilderness Guide


Marten
Martes americana or Pine Marten, American Sable


Description - The marten, or pine marten, is a weasel like animal that is dark brown to blond in colour with a paler head and underparts. The tail is long and bushy; the ears pointed and small. Average weight is 1-4 pounds.

Distribution - The marten occurs throughout most of Canada particularly in coniferous forests.

Biology - In April, 2-4 young are born blind in a leaf nest. The marten feeds on squirrels, rabbits, birds, mice, eggs, berries, seeds and honey. Their valuable pelts have led to their extirpation in many areas and logging has destroyed their habitats. Martens are now protected.

Marten Tracks Tracks - Although the tracks of the mink and marten are very similar, the habitat is not. While the mink prefers the water the marten is partial to land. Generally the marten has a larger track and in winter the feet are covered in hair which obscures the five toe pads. This hair is not evident in the warmer months. The trail of the marten will show the over-lapping of the front and hind feet and while running a series of four prints in a rough line, a space then the series of four prints is characteristic.

Straddle: 8 - 11 cm (3.2 - 4.4 in)
Stride: 23 - 66 cm (9.2 - 26.4 in)
Track: 3.5 cm (1.4 in) long / 4 cm (1.6 in) wide


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Marten or Pine Marten - The Martens of British Columbia, Canada - Martens in BC