Spatial Ecology of Re-introduced American Martens in the Northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan

Thomas M. Gehring, Lynnea M. McFadden, Sara A. Prussing, Sara A. Bickersmith, Clay Buchanan, Eric Nelson, Bradley J. Swanson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

American martens (Martes americana) in the northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan (NLP) represent a re-introduced and isolated population that is the southern-most distributed marten population in eastern North America. During 2005-2006 we conducted a radiotelemetry and track-survey study of martens in the NLP. We estimated home-range size and patterns of habitat use in order to develop a spatial model to predict distribution of marten habitat. Marten home ranges were comprised of more (>75%) upland deciduous and upland mixed forest compared to the landscape, which included ≤60% of these cover types. Within core areas, martens selected upland conifer stands. Our Penrose habitat model identified <25% of the NLP as primary marten habitat. Further, 70% of marten habitat patches were <1000 ha in size and were isolated by an average of 5.3 km (SE = 2.0). Our marten habitat model identifies focal areas for surveying and monitoring populations and sites for supplementation or re-introduction. Our model also highlights the need for managers to better coordinate active landscape-scale management of wildlife and forests to reduce fragmentation impacts on extant and reintroduced marten populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-251
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Midland Naturalist
Volume182
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 4 2019

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