Martes martes 

Scope: Mediterranean
Language: English

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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: 2010
Date Assessed: 2008-01-01
Assessor(s): Jdeidi, T., Masseti, M., Nader, I., de Smet, K., & Cuzin, F.
Reviewer(s): Temple, H. & Cuttelod, A.

Least Concern in the broader circum-Mediterranean countries, but there are problems in the southern part of the range with loss and fragmentation of habitat (and decline of habitat quality), and overexploitation for furs. This species has very specific habitat requirements and generally has a scattered distribution and is rare. The regional population could be not much more than 10,000 individuals but there are no quantitative data. Fires are a further threat to Mediterranean habitat.

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. It is found on the Mediterranean islands of Corsica, Sardinia, and Sicily. It was introduced historically to the Balearics (S. Roy pers. comm.). It was formerly widespread in the British Isles, but is now restricted to northern Britain and Ireland, where it is still common (S. Roy pers. comm.). Altitude ranges from sea-level to the timber line (2,300 m in the Pyrenees).
Countries occurrence:
Albania; Austria; Belarus; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Croatia; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France; Georgia; Germany; Greece; Hungary; Iran, Islamic Republic of; 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, and has become extinct in many parts of the British Isles where it formerly occurred. 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. Russia constitutes a large part of the species' range. 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 range is extending southwards again, but population numbers are lacking.
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 understory 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 165-210 days. In the eastern parts of distribution area (Ural Mts) can hybridize with sympatrically distributed sable Martes zibellina (A. Abramov pers. comm. 2006).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Major 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: Jdeidi, T., Masseti, M., Nader, I., de Smet, K., & Cuzin, F. 2010. Martes martes. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T12848A3389957. . Downloaded on 19 September 2018.
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