American Marten

By: Alex Beers

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The American Marten lives in dense forests, preferring a mix of conifers and deciduous trees that include, cedar, hemlock, spruce, white pine, yellow birch and maple. Fallen trees are very important to the martens. The forest provide great coverage and a large source of prey. A marten barely crosses an open area.
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American martens are mostly carnivorous. Mice and small rodents are their primary source of food but they also eat squirrels, hares, shrews, birds, birds eggs, reptiles, fish, crayfish and insects.


Bobcats, fishers, hawks and owls will all eat the American Marten.
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Endangered Species Act

At first, the endangered species preservation act was passed in 1966. Then in 1969 Congress passed the Endangered species Conservation Act. These acts contributed the Congress completely rewriting a new act called the Endangered Species Act. The act was passed in 1973

Reasons Species Become Endangered

Some reasons a species can get listed on the endangered species list are habitat disruption, introduction of exotic species and illegal hunting.

All animals need room to live, some more than others. We as humans are taking away species habitats. Building streets and houses, logging, and farming all contribute to the destruction of habitat and eventually the extinction of species.

When you introduce a new species to a new environment they can take over species niches and the native species could die out. Often this new species can repopulate very quickly because it has no natural predators. The new species then takes over the entire environment.

Illegal hunting or poaching is when people ignore the governments rules and regulations and hunt animals anyway. They are usually hard to catch because the government doesn't have enough money to pay for game wardens.

Endangered vs. Threatened

An endangered species is when the animal is in jeopardy of going extinct based on scientific evidence. a threatened species is when a species could become endangered in the near future.


The American Marten is an endangered species. They became endangered because of excessive trapping and loss of habitat. Logging and fires contribute to habitat loss. Logging is by far the biggest reason why martens are endangered. When humans put out traps and snares for other animals they don't think about other animals it might catch, such as the American Marten.
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Looking at the green, it shows forest coverage in Wisconsin. American Marten's like dense forests, so that would be the darker green areas. throughout the years these forests have decreased and so has the Marten.
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The blue areas are where there are martens. As you can see they are in the northern part of the state where there is more forest.


The DNR and University of Wisconsin are implementing a capture and recapture method to estimate population sizes. They also are holding classes to teach people about trapping to try and reduce the number of martens accidentally captured. Something I might do is to reduce logging. Since martens depend on these dense forests, reducing logging would be a major help. With the help of the DNR and reducing logging the numbers of martens could greatly increase and get them off the endangered species list.


As humans, we need to be aware of the things we are doing to our environment. We are always thinking of ourselves, but what about the plants and animals that help us? If we take away there habitats we are just hurting ourselves in the long run.