Rachel Hughart

Kit Production and Survival From Birth Through Independence of American Marten in West Michigan

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-censored trail cameras, and the mothers were tracked using radio telemetry.  Four of the six monitored female martens had kits; however, shortly after birth, one female lost her only kit. Therefore, the three females tracked throughout the summer produced three litters with a total of six kits. Each den the female utilized preceding kit independence was characterized by surrounding vegetation, including course woody debris, brush piles, tree species and size (diameters taken at breast height) and relative amount of tree saplings. Den site will be compared to random plots to highlight characteristics important in den selection. Preliminary results indicate that mature hardwood stands containing large trees with cavities and the relative amount of course woody debris in the area are important features in determining marten den site selection.

Faculty Mentors: Paul Keenlance, Natural Resources Mgmt & Joseph Jacquot, Biology

Page last modified August 2, 2013