Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Keith M. Slauson; Richard L. Truex; William J. Zielinski
    Date: 2008
    Source: Northwest Science 82(3): p. 185-198
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    PDF: Download Publication  (2.42 MB)


    Determining the gender of American martens (Martes americana) and fishers (M. pennanti) from track plate stations would significantly augment the information currently gathered from this simple and inexpensive survey method. We used track-plate impressions collected from captured individual martens and fishers of known gender to develop methods to distinguish the gender from tracks. We collected marten tracks from two subspecies M. a. sierrae (tracks n = 54, individuals m = 12, f = 8) and M. a. humboldtensis (tracks n = 109, individuals m = 10, f = 9). We developed a model for martens which performed extremely well (91–100%) using only total track length. For fishers, we collected 64 tracks (from 7 males, 17 females) and developed a 3-variable model, using interdigital pad height, interdigital pad width, and total track length, which correctly classified 98.6% of the tracks. We evaluated track quality on 129 sheets of contact paper collected during summer (dry-season) and 137 sheets collected during fall (wet-season); 100% of dry season compared to 51% of wet season sheets had suitable quality tracks. Gender discrimination of Martes tracks can be used to investigate gender differences in distribution and habitat (associations), but the generality of these findings to other populations is undetermined.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Slauson, Keith M.; Truex, Richard L.; Zielinski, William J. 2008. Determining the gender of American martens and fishers at track plate stations. Northwest Science 82(3): p. 185-198

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page