Pine Marten

Martes_martesThe pine marten’s distribution is patchy. It is most common in the old pine-and-fir woods and mixed forests with thick undergrowth, mainly in the northern and southern districts of the region. The marten prefers settling in the patches of overripe forests, where many trees have hollows and forage is diverse, yet it can be encountered in manmade landscapes. For shelter, it uses squirrel drays, deadwood, and root caverns.

The marten is an agile tree runner, climbing trunks and branches and jumping trees. It is omnivorous, and predominantly forages on the ground. The main prey are rodents (voles and others), and quite often birds. In starving times, it feeds on shrews, insects and their larvae. Squirrels form but a small share in the ration of martens. In terms of plant food, it eats bilberries, raspberries, ashberries, and chokecherries. Martens are precious fur game. Within the recent three decades, the maximum procurement comprised 1540 (in 1957), and at present 360 hides a year (1990). The drop is linked to the excessive procurement, reduction in the square of old forests, and other reasons.

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