The American marten (Martes americana) is a small, carnivorous mammal found in upper North America and in fragmented populations of Michigan’s lower peninsula. A large limiting factor on marten populations is food availability due to their high metabolism and low fat storage. This can be especially important for lactating females that may have up to five kits to sustain. We seek to obtain an understanding of reproducing female marten diets, if differing diets can impact kit production and survival, and how prey availability differs with habitat type. Female martens in the Manistee National Forest were fitted with radio collars and tracked. Cameras were used to confirm den sites and monitor litter size and kit survival. Scat was collected and any identifiable components evaluated to delineate diet. This is novel research that can be used by the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, the United States Forest Service and Michigan Department of Natural Resources to manage for marten habitat.
Faculty Mentors: Paul Keenlance, Natural Resources Mgmt and Joseph Jacquot, Biology