Martes foina 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Mustelidae

Scientific Name: Martes foina (Erxleben, 1777)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Beech Marten, Stone Marten
French Fouine
Spanish Garduña
Mustela foina Erxleben, 1777
Taxonomic Notes: Some of the island populations are morphologically quite distinct, although the taxonomic significance of this is not yet clear (e.g. Krystufek 2004a, 2004b). some of these island populations are rare and perhaps threatened.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2015-03-03
Assessor(s): Abramov, A.V., Kranz, A., Herrero, J., Choudhury, A. & Maran, T.
Reviewer(s): Schipper, J. & Duckworth, J.W.
Contributor(s): Cavallini, P., Libois, R., Wozencraft, C, Fernandes, M., Giannatos, G., Tikhonov, A., Stubbe, M. & Yonzon, P.
Beech Marten is categorised as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, its large population, its occurrence in many protected areas, its abundance in anthropogenic habitats over large parts of its range, and because it is unlikely to be declining at nearly the rate required to qualify for listing even as Near Threatened.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Beech Marten occurs through much of Europe and central Asia south-east to northern Myanmar. It is found from Spain and Portugal in the west (Muñoz et al. 2007), through central and southern Europe (Mitchell-Jones et al. 1999), the Middle East (south-west to Israel, from where Werner [2012] traced no records from the southern portion), and central Asia, extending as far east as the Tuva (Russia) and Tien Shan mountains and north-west China (Wang et al. 2003, A.V. Abramov pers. comm. 2014). In Europe, it is absent from Ireland, Great Britain, the Scandinavian peninsula, Finland, the northern Baltic and northern European Russia. At the end of 20th century the species extended in European Russia as far as Moscow province in the north and across the Volga River in the east (Abramov et al., 2006). Along the Himalaya it occurs in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal and Bhutan; it was recently found in northern Myanmar (Rabinowitz and Saw Tun Khaing 1998). The species was introduced to Ibiza, Balearic Islands (Spain) but it failed. It was also introduced to Wisconsin, U.S.A. (Long 1995).

The species has ben recorded from sea level to 2,000 m in Israel (Werner 2012), from the lowlands to 3,400 m in Kazakhstan, and to 4,200 m in Nepal. In India, it has been found above 1,300 m (Choudhury 2013) up to 3,950 m (Sathyakumar et al. 2011).
Countries occurrence:
Afghanistan; Albania; Armenia; Austria; Azerbaijan; Belarus; Belgium; Bhutan; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; China; Croatia; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; France; Georgia; Germany; Greece; Hungary; India; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Israel; Italy; Jordan; Kazakhstan; Kyrgyzstan; Latvia; Lebanon; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Moldova; Mongolia; Montenegro; Nepal; Netherlands; Pakistan; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Russian Federation; Serbia; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Switzerland; Syrian Arab Republic; Tajikistan; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Ukraine; Uzbekistan
United States
Additional data:
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Continuing decline in number of locations:No
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:No
Upper elevation limit (metres):4200
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Beech Marten is common in at least parts of its range (Macdonald and Barrett 1993). Populations in western and central Europe have increased since the 1960s and 1970s. It is recolonising areas in the Netherlands from which it had disappeared. It seems to be relatively stable in Israel (Werner 2012).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:No
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:Beech Marten prefers more open areas than do other martens (Sachhi and Meriggi 1995). Its habitat preferences vary in different parts of its range. It is typically found in deciduous forest, forest edge, and open rocky hillsides (sometimes above the tree line). However, in Switzerland, north-east France, Luxembourg and southern Germany, it is very common in suburban and urban areas, often building its nest in house attics, outhouses, barns, garages, or even in motor-car engine spaces. In some areas it is common in towns and rare in woods. Commensal Beech Martens may cause damage to roofs, insulation, and electrical wiring and pipes in houses and motor-cars. In some parts of its range, it seems to avoid urban areas: in Israel, it is more associated with woodland than with urban or cultivated areas, a pattern apparently typical in Mediterranean ecosystems (Werner 2012).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:No
Generation Length (years):6
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The species is hunted for its fur in various countries such as India and Russia.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Beech Marten is sometimes persecuted as a pest. Rabies may be a problem in some portions of the species's range. In China, it is Key Listed at level 2. The species is hunted for its fur in countries such as India and Russia. However, there is no evidence that these potential threats are intensive enough to be causing declines across significant parts of the species's range.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Beech Marten is listed on Appendix III of the Bern Convention. It occurs in many protected areas. The Indian population is listed in Appendix III of CITES, as Martes foina intermedia. Further legislation and enforcement of existing legislation regarding hunting is warranted in some areas. Research to establish a scientific basis for a sustainable harvest level is also recommended.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
3. Shrubland -> 3.4. Shrubland - Temperate
0. Root -> 6. Rocky areas (eg. inland cliffs, mountain peaks)
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.2. Artificial/Terrestrial - Pastureland
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.4. Artificial/Terrestrial - Rural Gardens
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.5. Artificial/Terrestrial - Urban Areas
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management
3. Species management -> 3.1. Species management -> 3.1.1. Harvest management
3. Species management -> 3.1. Species management -> 3.1.2. Trade management
5. Law & policy -> 5.1. Legislation -> 5.1.2. National level
5. Law & policy -> 5.4. Compliance and enforcement -> 5.4.1. International level
5. Law & policy -> 5.4. Compliance and enforcement -> 5.4.2. National level

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Action Recovery plan:No
  Systematic monitoring scheme:No
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:No
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
  Invasive species control or prevention:Not Applicable
In-Place Species Management
  Harvest management plan:No
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:Unknown
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:No
In-Place Education
  Subject to recent education and awareness programmes:Unknown
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.3. Agro-industry farming
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:Negligible declines ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 4 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.3. Agro-industry grazing, ranching or farming
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:Negligible declines ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 4 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Majority (50-90%) ♦ severity:Negligible declines ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 5 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
1. Research -> 1.6. Actions
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

Abramov, A. V., Kruskop, S. V. and Lissovsky, A. A. 2006. Distribution of the Stone Marten Martes foina (Carnivora, Mustelidae) in the European part of Russia. Russian Journal of Theriology 5(1): 37-41.

Choudhury, A. 2013. The mammals of North east India. Gibbon Books and the Rhino Foundation for Nature in NE India, Guwahati, Assam, India.

IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-1. Available at: (Accessed: 30 June 2016).

Kryštufek, B. 2004. The Cretan Stone Marten Martes foina bunites. Small Carnivore Conservation 30: 2-4.

Kryštufek, B. 2004. The Stone Marten Martes foina milleri on the Island of Rhodes. Small Carnivore Conservation 31: 6-8.

Long, C. A. 1995. Stone Marten (Martes foina) in southeast Wisconsin, U.S.A. Small Carnivore Conservation 13: 14.

Mitchell-Jones, A.J., Amori, G., Bogdanowicz, W., Kryštufek, B., Reijnders, P.J.H., Spitzenberger, F., Stubbe, M., Thissen, J.B.M., Vohralik, V. and Zima, J. 1999. The Atlas of European Mammals. Academic Press, London, UK.

Muñoz, L.J.P., Gisbert, J. and Gutiérrez, J.C.B. 2007. Atlas y libro rojo de los mamíferos terrestres de España. Organismo autónomo parques nacionales, Dirección general para la biodiversidad.

Rabinowitz, A. and Tun Khaing, S. 1998. Status of selected mammal species in North Myanmar. Oryx 32(2): 201-208.

Sathyakumar, S., Bashir, T., Bhattacharya, T. and Poudyal, K. 2011. Assessing mammal distribution and abundance in intricate eastern Himalayan habitats of Khangchendzonga, Sikkim India. Mammalia 75: 257-268.

Wang, Y.X. 2003. A Complete Checklist of Mammal Species and Subspecies in China (A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference). China Forestry Publishing House, Beijing, China.

Werner, N.Y. 2012. Small carnivores, big database – inferring possible small carnivore distribution and population trends in Israel from over 30 years of recorded sightings. Small Carnivore Conservation 47: 17-25.

Citation: Abramov, A.V., Kranz, A., Herrero, J., Choudhury, A. & Maran, T. 2016. Martes foina. In: . The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T29672A45202514. . Downloaded on 21 June 2018.
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