An agile tree-living member of the weasel family that hunts for small mammals and birds among the conifer forests of North America.
Up to 10-15 years.
30-45cm long with a 16-24cm tail, and weighing 0.5-1.5kg.
Martens are agile and graceful members of the weasel family with long slender bodies and tails, and thick fur. The American marten has rich chocolaty fur with a small, pale bib on the throat.
Northern North America to Sierra Nevada and the Rockies in Colorado and California.
Northern coniferous forests.
Small mammals and birds.
Martens are very agile and leap from branch to branch through the trees, marking their common pathways with scent. They are usually solitary hunters.
Mating occurs during the late summer but the fertilised eggs do not implant in the uterus for 6-7 months. Gestation after that is only 2 months, with the young being born in early spring. The litter is usually 1-5 and the young are born blind, deaf and only sparsely furred. They are weaned at 2 months, and can hunt for themselves at 3-4 months.
Hunting and habitat loss has led to a decline in populations, but the species is not considered threatened.