Marten in Young Forests Choose Old-growth Features

Martens living, uncharacteristically, in a young deciduous forest in northern British Columbia tend to use features commonly occurring in older forests.

This is most pronounced for resting, where they choose sites with tree rootballs and wide-diameter snags in advanced decay, along with shrubby ground cover.

Wide snags, the only habitat feature associated with multiple activities, are also commonly scent marked.

During foraging, the marten select hard snags, a puzzling finding since it seems unrelated to availability of marten prey. Habitat features have no bearing on martens' choice of travel routes.

The population of martens studied lives on overgrown farmland of the Boreal White and Black Spruce (BWBS) biogeoclimatic zone, where most of the land reforested in aspen and balsam poplar, mainly within the last 25 years. The landscape is also scattered with logs, stumps, snags and small, mature stands left over from clearing.


Aswea Dawn Porter, Colleen Cassady St. Clair and Andrew de Vries. 2005. Fine-scale selection by marten during winter in a young deciduous forest. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 35: 901-909.

Back to Top
Science Articles