Marten

A marten hangs from a branch in a tree
Martens are mammals in Yellowstone National Park.

NPS

 
Black track of a marten
Marten track

Scientific Name

Martes americana

Identification

  • 18–26 inches long, 1–3 pounds.
  • Weasel family; short limbs and long bushy tail; fur varies from light to dark brown or black; irregular, buffy to bright orange throat patch.
  • Smaller than a fisher; buffy or orange bib rather than white.
  • Compare to long-tailed weasel and short-tailed weasel.

Habitat

  • Found in conifer forests with understory of fallen logs and stumps; will use riparian areas, meadows, forest edges and rocky alpine areas.
  • Eat primarily small mammals such as red- backed voles, red squirrels, snowshoe hares, flying squirrels, chipmunks, mice and shrews; also to a lesser extent birds and eggs, amphibians and reptiles, earthworms, insects, fruit, berries, and carrion.

Behavior

  • Solitary except in breeding season (July and August); delayed implantation; 1–5 young born in mid-March to late April.
  • Active throughout the year; hunts mostly on the ground.
  • Rest or den in hollow trees or stumps, in ground burrows or rock piles, in excavations under tree roots.
 
A wolf standing on a snowy bank near brown grass howls

Mammals

Home to the largest concentration of mammals in the lower 48 states.

Last updated: July 11, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168

Phone:

307-344-7381

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