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    Author(s): Sylvia Kantor; Katie Moriarty
    Date: 2019
    Source: Science Findings 215. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 5 p.
    Publication Series: Science Findings
    Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (7.0 MB)


    The Pacific marten once ranged throughout coastal forests of the Pacific Northwest, but by the late 1940s, it was thought to be extinct. In 1996, however, a population was found in northern California. This member of the mustelid family, which includes weasels and fishers, depends on diverse, mixed-conifer forests with a dense understory of salal and other shrubs. Habitat loss, forest fragmentation, disease, trapping, and fatality from collisions with motor vehicles have contributed to the decline of the Humboldt marten, a subspecies found in limited areas of coastal Oregon.

    Conservation efforts have been hampered by a lack of information on distribution, population size, habits, and habitat needs of the Humboldt marten. In the past 4 years, extensive research by scientists with the USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station and partners has greatly increased basic understanding of the Humboldt marten, giving resource managers and policymakers new information on which to base decisions.

    Using a novel combination of survey techniques, scientists collected data about Pacific marten in Oregon and California, conducting the largest carnivore survey in Oregon. Their findings confirm that small populations of Humboldt martens persist but not only in late-successional forests as previously thought. On Oregon’s central coast, scientists projected that just two to three mortalities a year could lead to extinction of small local populations within 30 years.

    Publication Notes

    • Visit PNW's Publication Request Page to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • 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.


    Kantor, Sylvia; Moriarty, Katie. 2019. Searching for Martens in Coastal Oregon. Science Findings 215. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 5 p.


    Pacific marten, Martes caurina humboltdensis, Oregon, population viability analysis.

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