The Effect of Forest Fragmentation on American Marten Populations and Prey Availability

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Utah Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Scientific Report





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The effects of forest fragmentation on individual space-use patterns were investigated in the European pine marten (Martes martes), considered as a forest-dependent species. The study was done in Ardennes, France, with the landscape consisting of both continuous forest and fragmented habitat, poor-quality habitat for pine martens. In this landscape context 3 predictions were tested: due to intraspecific competition, subadults should be overrepresented in fragmented habitat; according to the landscape supplementation theory, home ranges should be larger in fragmented habitat; and over seasons, home ranges should be more stable in forest than in fragmented habitat. Thirty-six individuals were trapped in both habitats, arid 23 were radiotracked during 3–5 consecutive seasons. Confirming our 1st prediction, we found that the ratio of subadults to adults in fragmented habitat was higher than in forest. On the contrary, annual home ranges were larger in forest than in fragmented habitat, and temporal stability of home ranges was not significantly different between habitats. Therefore, our results indicate that the pine marten can persist in fragmented habitat and could rather be defined as a tree-dependent species.


Final Report to the Utah Division of Wildland Resources, Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Ashley National Forest, and the Utah Wilderness Association

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