Martes martes 

Scope: Europe
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Mustelidae

Scientific Name: Martes martes (Linnaeus, 1758)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Pine Marten, European Pine Marten
French Martre des pins
Spanish Marta

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern (Regional assessment) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2007
Date Assessed: 2006-05-21
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Andreas Kranz, Alexei Tikhonov, Jim Conroy, Paulo Cavallini, Juan Herrero, Michael Stubbe, Tiit Maran
Reviewer(s): Craig Hilton-Taylor and Helen Temple
European regional assessment: Least Concern (LC)
EU 25 regional assessment: Least Concern (LC)

This species is listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, large population, occurrence in a number of protected areas, tolerance to some degree of habitat modification, and because it is unlikely to be declining at nearly the rate required to qualify for listing in a threatened category. The population is stable to increasing.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The pine marten has a wide distribution in the Palaearctic, being found throughout most of Europe, Asia Minor, northern Iraq and Iran, the Caucasus, and in westernmost parts of Asian Russia (Western Siberia). It is widespread in continental Europe, with the exception of most of Iberia and Greece, and parts of Belgium and the Netherlands (Bright 1999, Matos and Santos-Reis 2003). It is found on the Mediterranean islands of Corsica, Sardinia, and Sicily (Bright 1999). It was introduced historically to the Balearics (S. Roy pers. comm. 2006). It was formerly widespread in the British Isles, but is now restricted to northern Britain and Ireland, where it is still locally common (Battersby 2005, S. Roy pers. comm. 2006). Altitude ranges from sea-level to the timber line (2,300 m in the Pyrenees: Palomo and Gisbert 2002).
Countries occurrence:
Albania; Austria; Belarus; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Croatia; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France; Germany; Greece; Hungary; Ireland; Italy; Latvia; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Moldova; Montenegro; Netherlands; Norway; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Russian Federation; Serbia; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain (Baleares - Introduced); Sweden; Switzerland; Turkey; Ukraine; United Kingdom
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):2300
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:In the more northern and eastern parts of its range it remains widespread, and it is fairly abundant owing to its large range. Population declines and range contractions occurred in many parts of its distribution, yet it was difficult to quantify these population declines because historical data were lacking for many range states. Hunting bags in Russia were 80% lower in the late 20th century than they were in the 1920s (Grakov 1993), and Russia constitutes a large part of the species' range. The pine marten has also declined in the Netherlands (Bright 1999), and has become extinct in many parts of the British Isles where it formerly occurred (Battersby 2005). In northern and central Europe, this species declined from the 1950s to the 1980s, but has since stabilized and is now regionally increasing due to implementation of hunting controls. Since 1990, in the Russian Federation the population has been increasing again in forested areas; in 1999 the number was estimated as 170,000 (A.Abramov pers. comm. 2006). In the United Kingdom, the species' range has increased in Scotland in recent years, but the population trend has not been quantified (Battersby 2005).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It inhabits deciduous, mixed, and coniferous woodlands, as well as scrub. Optimal habitat appears to be woodlands with an incomplete canopy and dense understorey vegetation. Pine martens have a predominantly carnivorous diet, consuming voles, mice, squirrels, rabbits, birds, and amphibians. Carrion is a major food source in the winter. Bee nests, mushrooms, and berries are also sometimes eaten. Solitary, but not highly territorial. The home ranges very often overlap partially or even totally. Female may mate with several males while on heat. There is delayed implantation after 165-210 days. In the eastern parts of distribution area (Ural Mts) it can hybridize with sympatrically distributed sable M. zibellina (A. Abramov pers. comm. 2006).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Threats to the pine marten include unsustainable hunting and trapping, incidental poisoning, and the loss and fragmentation of woodland habitats. The marten is still hunted and trapped for its fur in some parts of its range. Its decline in Britain was due to persecution, and the species is still subject to persecution even in some countries in which it is protected. Efforts to control other carnivore species sometimes result in pine marten deaths.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is listed on Appendix III of the Bern Convention and Annex V of the Habitats Directive, and it occurs in a number of protected areas throughout its range. In The United Kingdom it is listed under the Wildlife and Countryside Act. Hunting controls need to be implemented and enforced across its range.

Citation: Andreas Kranz, Alexei Tikhonov, Jim Conroy, Paulo Cavallini, Juan Herrero, Michael Stubbe, Tiit Maran. 2007. Martes martes. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2007: e.T12848A3390269. . Downloaded on 19 September 2018.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided