Martes flavigula 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Mustelidae

Scientific Name: Martes flavigula (Boddaert, 1785)
Common Name(s):
English Yellow-throated Marten
Charronia flavigula (Boddaert, 1785)
Lamprogale flavigula (Boddaert, 1785)
Taxonomic Notes: The geographic variability of M. flavigula is considerable; many subspecies have been described, and a taxonomic revision is needed, particularly because some island forms have been suggested to be under threat. Schreiber et al. (1989) pointed out that the Javan form of M. flavigula, M. f. robinsoni, is clearly distinct from the ones on Peninsular Malaysia, Borneo and Sumatra, which could indicate that the Javan taxon may be a distinct species. Pocock (1936) and Baryshnikov and Abramov (1997, 1998) separated the species from other Martes and placed in the genus Lamprogale based on bacular morphology. The genus Charronia is also sometimes used in this sense. Recent genetic studies (Li et al. 2014), however, confirm the monophyly of the genus Martes, containing M. flavigula (as subgenus Charronia). Rozhnov (1995) separated several subspecies, including henrici, hainana and peninsularis, into the distinct species M. lasiotis; this was followed by, for example, Abramov et al. (2007) (as Lamprogale lasiotis). The subspecies M. f. robinsoni was assessed separately in the 1996 Red List Assessment of this species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2015-03-03
Assessor(s): Chutipong, W., Duckworth, J.W., Timmins, R.J., Choudhury, A., Abramov, A.V., Roberton, S., Long, B., Rahman, H., Hearn, A., Dinets, V. & Willcox, D.H.A.
Reviewer(s): Schipper, J.
Contributor(s): Zaw, T.
Yellow-throated Marten is listed as Least Concern because of its wide geographic and habitat distribution, evidently large population, occurrence in many protected areas, presence in many heavily degraded areas and, the lack of identified major threats. In certain islands of its range (perhaps Taiwan, less likely Java), the island-endemic subspecies might be threatened.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Yellow-throated Marten occurs in South, South-east and East Asia, from Afghanistan and Pakistan in the west, along the Himalaya and foothills east to southern China, throughout mainland South-east Asia, and the islands of Sumatra, Java and Borneo, It also extends north through eastern China (including Taiwan) and Korea to the Russian Far East (Corbet and Hill 1992, Matyushkin 1993; Wang and Xie 2004, Stevens et al. 2011, Kerley and Borisenko 2014). There is one old specimen labelled 'Singapore' (Meiri 2005), but no other suggestion of occurrence there (M.A.H. Chua pers. comm. 2014). In Bangladesh it occurs in the North-east and South-east (Hasan Rahman pers. comm. 2014). Statements of occurrence in southern India refer to the taxon gwatkinsii, here considered a full species, but widely treated as a race of Yellow-throated Marten until recently.
The species's known elevational range extends from sea-level to 4,510 m (Duckworth 1995, Appel and Khatiwada 2014).
Countries occurrence:
Afghanistan; Bangladesh; Bhutan; Brunei Darussalam; Cambodia; China; India; Indonesia (Jawa, Kalimantan, Sumatera); Korea, Democratic People's Republic of; Korea, Republic of; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Malaysia (Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, Sarawak); Myanmar; Nepal; Pakistan; Russian Federation; Taiwan, Province of China; Thailand; Viet Nam
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):No
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):NoExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Continuing decline in number of locations:Yes
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:No
Upper elevation limit (metres):4510
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Few population assessments of Yellow-throated Marten exist. In Sikhote-Alinsky Nature Reserve (Russian Far East) the population density was estimated to be 1-5 per 100 km² (Matyushkin 1993). The total population in Russia is estimated as 2,500-3,500 individuals (A.V. Abramov pers. comm. 2006). It is evidently common across Lao PDR (Duckworth 1997), Thailand (Chutipong et al. 2014), Viet Nam (Dang Ngoc Can et al. 2008) and Myanmar (Than Zaw et al. 2008) and probably widely elsewhere in its tropical range (references in Parr and Duckworth 2007). It is also common in montane forests in Nepal and Pakistan (V. Dinets pers. comm. 2015). It has been considered rare in Java and Taiwan; while more recent information indicates it is regularly seen in the former, including in degraded areas (J. A. Eaton pers. comm. 2013), camera-trapping suggests it is indeed scarce in Taiwan (Chen et al. 2009). Population trend has not been quantified anywhere in its range, but the wide persistence in the heavily hunted countries of Lao PDR and Viet Nam, including close to long-standing settlements in highly degraded habitat (Duckworth 1997, Willcox et al. 2014, J.W. Duckworth pers. comm. 2014), suggests that it is quite resilient to widespread potential pressures of forest degradation and fragmentation, and to intensive non-selective ground-based traps. It is hence unlikely to be declining much more than the background rate of deforestation.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
Continuing decline in subpopulations:No
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:With its huge range from boreal to equatorial areas and sea-level to over 4,000 m a.s.l., Yellow-throated Marten occupies a concomitantly wide range of habitats. In the Russian Far East it prefers mixed (coniferous and broad-leaved) forests of the Manchurian type, while it occurs rarely in the dark coniferous taiga of the upper mountain zone and in the oak forests zone (Matyushkin 1993); it occurs in areas even with deep prolonged winter snow-cover and is active right through the winter (Kerley and Borisenko 2014). In Nepal and Pakistan it inhabits montane forests up to the tree line (V. Dinets pers. comm. 2015). In Lao PDR, Myanmar and Thailand it is found in forests and various other adjacent habitats across a wide altitudinal range (Lekagul and McNeely 1977, Duckworth et al. 1999, Than Zaw et al. 2008, Chutipong et al. 2014). It was recorded in secondary forest, that was logged in the 1970s, and which surrounds a palm estate, in Malaysia in 2000-2001 by Azlan (2003) and at least in South-east Asia, there are many records from heavily degraded areas and a small number of records from a palm oil plantation in Sabah (A.J. Hearn and J. Ross pers. comm. 2014); there is insufficient information to determine whether such areas are permanently occupied, let alone capable of supporting populations in isolation from native forest. .

Although sometimes said to be largely or entirely nocturnal, the species is primarily diurnal; nocturnal activity increases during moonlit nights (within a few days of full moon) (Duckworth 1997, Grassman et al. 2005, Parr and Duckworth 2007, Than Zaw et al. 2008). Common food items include squirrels, birds, snakes, and lizards, although its wide diet includes also insects, eggs, frogs, kitchen waste, fruit, and nectar (e.g., Nandini and Karthik 2007, Parr and Duckworth 2007). Ungulates are eaten, in some areas as a large proportion of the diet; the proportion predated versus scavenged, especially in tropical areas, is not clear (Pierce et al. 2014 and references therein). In nature, foraging groups of two to three or, more rarely, five to seven, individuals are typical (e.g., Parr and Duckworth, 2007); in the Russian Far East the species hunts in groups for Siberian Musk-deer Moschus moschiferus (Matyushkin 1993). Hunting in duos was common in Nepal and Pakistan, as revealed by both direct observations and by snow tracking (V. Dinets pers. comm. 2015). These groups can move through the habitat separated by 100 m or more and it is likely that many assumptions of solo hunting relate to observations where additional animals were overlooked (J.W. Duckworth per. comm. 2014). It is often assumed to be largely arboreal, but the regularity with which it is camera-trapped at ground level across its range belies this. There seems to be no study that has quantified activity by height in the vegetation column, but in tropical Asia only a handful of J.W. Duckworth's (pers. comm. 2014) several dozen direct sightings were of animals more than a few feet above ground level.

Grassman et al. (2005) found that, in Phu Kieo Wildlife Sanctuary, Thailand, this species has a mean annual range size of 7.2 km² with a mean overlap of 34%. The litter size is up to five, and the gestation period is 220-290 days; it has life span of up to 14 years (Lekagul and McNeely 1977).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):7.2

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: At least in the tropical parts of its range, there is little evidence of any targeted harvest of this species. However, in much of its range, notably northern South-east Asia, much hunting uses non-selective traps (e.g., Coudrat et al. 2014, Willcox et al. 2014), and the species is caught in those as part of the general take. Elsewhere, there is some targeted hunting: in Pakistan and Afghanistan the species is reportedly hunted for its fur, with Nuristan apparently the main source of furs of this species in Kabul’s markets (Stevens et al. 2011).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Yellow-throated Marten seems to be tied to forest areas, at least in the South-east Asian parts of its range. Therefore, forest conversion there over the last few decades will have resulted in some overall population reduction. However, for a species that is common in hill evergreen forest and tolerant of degradation, very large areas remain and are likely to do so for the foreseeable future. These declines thus do not constitute a threat to the species. Moreover, the species is surviving well within remaining forests (including secondary stands), for two likely reasons: (i) it is little sought as food or for any other reason by most residents, and (ii) its scansorial nature reduces its exposure to snares and other traps, as well as allowing easy escape from domestic and feral dogs. Therefore, no significant threats at the population level are known to the species in South-east Asia, although it is no doubt below carrying capacity in heavily hunted areas such as Lao PDR and Viet Nam. It is occasionally hunted in Siberia (Russia) and DPR Korea for its fur (A. Abramov pers. comm. 2006, J. W. Duckworth pers. comm. 2006) but this does not constitute a global threat, rather it affects local populations at most. It can habituate to the close approach of many people and take food from human waste (Parr and Duckworth 2007).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Yellow-throated Marten is protected in many parts of its range. This species is protected in Myanmar under the Wildlife Act of 1994 (Than Zaw et al. 2008), in Thailand under WARPA 2003 (Chutipong et al. 2014) and in Peninsular Malaysia under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 (Azlan 2003). This species is listed on CITES Appendix III (India) and Category II of the China Wildlife Protection Law (1988) (Li et al. 2000). This species is listed as Near Threatened on the China Red List (Wang and Xie 2004). This species is known from many protected areas across its range. With no identified threats, attention to the integrity of the protected areas network is likely to be sufficient to ensure its survival across its range. This does not rule out that populations in specific parts of it range might be threatened. The main conservation need at present, therefore, is for a modern review of taxonomy, in case any of the isolated island populations is a cryptic species and one which has specific conservation needs.

Citation: Chutipong, W., Duckworth, J.W., Timmins, R.J., Choudhury, A., Abramov, A.V., Roberton, S., Long, B., Rahman, H., Hearn, A., Dinets, V. & Willcox, D.H.A. 2016. Martes flavigula. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T41649A45212973. . Downloaded on 23 September 2018.
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