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Pacific Marten Coastal Population

Pacific Marten (photo credit: M. Linnell/US Forest Service)

Scientific name: Martes caurina

Status: Proposed Threatened (Coastal Distinct Population Segment)

Critical Habitat: Not Designated

Listing Activity: On October 9, 2018, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to list the coastal distinct population segment of Pacific marten as threatened.

Section 7 Conferencing Guidance for Pacific Marten in Oregon is HERE.

  • Reasons for Decline

    The species faces a variety of threats including loss of habitat due to wildfire, timber harvest, vegetation management, trapping, vehicle collisions, rodenticides, and disease.  Changes in vegetation composition and distribution may also make coastal martens more susceptible to predation and competition with larger carnivores. These threats can be exacerbated by the species' small and isolated populations and the effects of climate change.

    Description and Life History

    The coastal distinct population segment (DPS) of the Pacific Marten in coastal Oregon and northern coastal California is commonly referred to as the coastal marten.  They are also sometimes called the Humboldt marten (Martes caurina humboldtensis) because the California portion of the DPS includes the Humboldt subspecies, and the martens in the Oregon portion are likely Humboldt martens as well. They are a medium-sized carnivore in the weasel family.  A thorough review of the taxonomy, life history, and ecology of the coastal marten is presented in the Species Status Assessment report.

    Habitat

    Coastal martens are native to forests of coastal Oregon and coastal California. They occur in older forests, but can also be found in younger forests with a significantly dense understory component that provides shelter and prey, such as in the coastal shore pine forests in and near the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area.

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