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    Description

    Estimating marten (Martes spp.) survival rates in managed forests is important for comparisons with vital rates in unmanaged forests, and data across populations in different forest types are needed in meta-analyses. We estimated survival rates of a Pacific Marten (Martes caurina) population from 1993 to 1998. This population experienced no fur trapping and occurred in an atypical habitat of sparse tree-canopy cover, small tree diameters, and many natural openings and logging clearcuts. In the beetle-damaged, salvage-logged Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta) forest, downed wood and snags were removed and slash piles were accumulated to mitigate logging effects. The average annual probability of adult (≥1 y) survival was 0.684, s‾x 0.104 (n=53). The overall adult survival did not differ between years or between the sexes across years. Average annual survival of young (y) was 0.753, s‾x = 0.118 (n = 26). Seasonal survival of adults (0.945, s‾x = 0.027) and young (0.974, s‾x = 0.026) was highest in winter (December through February), and lowest in summer (June through August; adults = 0.853, s‾x = 0.035; young = 0.902, s‾x = 0.046). Adult winter survival was significantly greater than summer survival; and for adult females, winter survival was greater than in the other seasons (other seasons range = 0.862 to 0.903) and greater than male winter survival (0.918, s‾x=0.039), because there were no known female losses during the period (survival = 1.0). Based on evidence at field recovery sites and laboratory necropsies, predators were associated with 74% of all recovered marten carcasses, including Coyote (Canis latrans), Bobcat (Lynx rufus), American Badger (Taxidea taxus), and raptors of unknown species. Slash piles were used by marten, but the mitigation experiment was discontinued after logging. We suggest that slash piles may have helped sustain the local population of marten in the short term.

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    Citation

    Wilk, Randall J; Raphael, Martin G. 2018. Survival and predators of Pacific Marten in a salvage-logged pine forest, South-Central Oregon. Northwestern Naturalist. 99(2): 115-123. https://doi.org/10.1898/NWN17-18.1.

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    Keywords

    Dendroctonus ponderosae, forest carnivore, Lodgepole Pine, Martes caurina, Mountain Pine Beetle, Neotamias, Pacific Northwest, Pinus contorta, slash piles, Spermophilus.

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/57036