Martes martes 

Scope: Global
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 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2015-03-03
Assessor(s): Herrero, J., Kranz, A., Skumatov, D., Abramov, A.V., Maran, T. & Monakhov, V.G.
Reviewer(s): Duckworth, J.W. & Schipper, J.
Contributor(s): Conroy, J., Cavallini, P., Stubbe, M. & Tikhonov, A.
Pine Marten 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 even as Near Threatened. Indeed, the population is stable to increasing, after former steep declines in some of its range.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Pine Marten has a wide distribution in the west and central Palaearctic, across most of Europe, Asia Minor, northern Iran, the Caucasus, and in westernmost parts of Asian Russia (western Siberia). In Russia, it is expanding to the east in the southern taiga sub-zone: in Omsk province and Altaiski Krai, in the western districts of Novosibirsk and Tomsk provinces (V.G. Monakhov pers. comm. 2014). It is widespread in continental Europe, with the exceptions of most of Iberia (Muñoz et al. 2007) and of Greece, and of 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. 2007). It was formerly widespread in the British Isles, but is now restricted to Ireland and northern Britain (Birks and Messenger 2010, O’Mahony et al. 2012, Croose et al. 2014). In Kazakhstan Pine Marten has been recorded along the northern border from Bolshoi Uzen’ river in the west to Semey city in the east and along Ural (Jaik) river from middle reaches (Uralsk city) to the delta (Atyrau city). Inland, martens were recorded in the north part of Western-Kazakhstan province and Aktobe province, in the centre of Kostanai province, in Northern-Kazakhstan province (Petropavlovsk City), and in the north part of Akmola province (Astana city). In 2012 the species was recorded in Temirtau city in the south (D. Skumatov pers. comm. 2014, V.G. Monakhov pers. comm. 2014). In Iran there are very few records, all those with accurate and precise locality coming from the country's north (Baradarani and Moqanaki 2014). In 1962, it was introduced to Kyrgyzstan, but unsuccessfully (Pavlov et al. 1973).

The known occupied altitude ranges from sea-level to the timber line (2,300 m in the Pyrenees).
Countries occurrence:
Albania; Armenia; Austria; Belarus; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Croatia; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France; Georgia; Germany; Greece; Hungary; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Ireland; Italy; Kazakhstan; 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, Spain (mainland)); Sweden; Switzerland; Turkey; Ukraine; United Kingdom
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):No
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:>20,000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):NoExtreme 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):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 Pine Marten remains widespread, and it is in total numerous because of its large range. Population declines and range contractions have occurred in many parts of its distribution, but these are difficult to quantify because historical data are imprecise for many range states. Hunting bags in Russia were 80% lower in the late 20th century than they were in the 1920s (Grakov 1993); 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.V. Abramov pers. comm. 2006). The average annual spring number of Pine Martens in Russia (which constitutes a large part of the species's range) at the beginning of the century was as follows: 165,800 in 2000-2003; 193,450 in 2004-2007; 204,000 in 2008-2010; and 187,000 in 2011-2013 (V.G. Monakhov pers. comm. 2014). In much of northern and central Europe (such as the Netherlands), this species declined during the twentieth century until about the 1980s, but has since stabilised and is now regionally increasing due to implementation of hunting controls. It was eradicated from many parts of the British Isles where it formerly occurred, contracting to the north in Great Britain (where the range is perhaps extending southwards again) and to remoter parts of Ireland from which some recolonisation is now apparent (Birks and Messenger 2010, O’Mahony et al. 2012, Croose et al. 2014).
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:Pine Marten inhabits deciduous, mixed and coniferous woodlands, as well as scrub. Optimal habitat appears to be woodlands with an incomplete canopy and dense understorey vegetation. The decade to 2014 provided various records in big cities such as Minsk, Moscow, Kirov, Vologda, Ivanovo, Yaroslavl', Yekaterinburg, Ul'anovsk and besides Barnaul, Krasnodar and Temirtau. In Russia martens are considered to be the major source of rabies to humans after dogs and foxes (Canidae) (D. Skumatov pers. comm. 2014)..
Pine Marten is predominantly carnivorous, consuming voles, mice, squirrels, rabbits, birds, and amphibians. Carrion is a major food source in the winter. Bees' nests, mushrooms, and berries are also sometimes eaten. It is solitary, but not highly territorial. The home ranges often overlap partly or even totally. A female may mate with several males while on heat. There is delayed implantation by 165-210 days.
In the eastern parts of its distribution it can hybridise with Sable Martes zibellina (A.V. Abramov pers. comm. 2006, D. Skumatov pers. comm. 2014).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:No
Generation Length (years):5.75
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: For information on use and trade, see under Threats.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Potential threats to Pine Marten include unsustainable hunting and trapping, incidental poisoning, and the loss and fragmentation of woodland habitats. This marten is hunted and trapped for its fur in some parts of its range. Its decline in Britain was because of persecution as a predator of livestock and, particularly, of game, 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: Pine Marten is listed on Appendix III of the Bern Convention and Annex V of the European Union Habitats Directive, and it occurs in a number of protected areas across 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. In Russia, it is protected in 43 State Reserves (zapovedniks), totalling an area 3,495 square km² and 24 National Parks totalling an area of 3,678 km² (V.G. Monakhov pers. comm. 2014). In Russia, there is state annual wildlife monitoring at the end of winter by tracks on snow. This monitors the population trend and allows an estimate of numbers. This is complemented by scientific 'Servis of harvest' monitoring by polling of hunters; this has been carried out since 1935, and monitors the population trend and estimates numbers of martens trapped (D. Skumatov pers. comm. 2014). The State administrative (official) norm for all areas with Pine Marten is that the next trapping (hunting) season's quota cannot be more than 35% of the number of martens in the province, district or place of hunting, as evaluated at the end of the previous trapping season (D. Skumatov pers. comm. 2014). It is listed in Red Data Book of Kazakhstan. In the U.K., although populations  have increased markedly in Scotland with the near-cessation of persecution, natural repopulation of southern Britain is considered so unlikely that releases will be needed (Macpherson et al. 2015).

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.1. Forest - Boreal
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:Yes
1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:Yes
3. Shrubland -> 3.3. Shrubland - Boreal
suitability:Marginal season:resident 
3. Shrubland -> 3.4. Shrubland - Temperate
suitability:Marginal season:resident 
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.3. Artificial/Terrestrial - Plantations
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:No
3. Species management -> 3.1. Species management -> 3.1.1. Harvest management
5. Law & policy -> 5.4. Compliance and enforcement -> 5.4.2. National level

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Action Recovery plan:Unknown
  Systematic monitoring scheme:Yes
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over part of range
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
  Area based regional management plan:Unknown
  Invasive species control or prevention:Not Applicable
In-Place Species Management
  Harvest management plan:Yes
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:Unknown
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:No
In-Place Education
  Subject to recent education and awareness programmes:Yes
  Included in international legislation:Unknown
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Unknown
5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:Negligible declines ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 4 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.2. Unintentional effects (species is not the target)
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:Negligible declines ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 4 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.3. Persecution/control
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Majority (50-90%) ♦ severity:Negligible declines ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 5 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

Bibliography [top]

Baradarani, K. and Moqanaki, E.M. 2014. A recent record of Pine Marten Martes martes from the Caspian region of Iran. Small Carnivore Conservation 51: 82–84.

Birks, J.D.S. and Messenger, J. 2010. Evidence of Pine Martens in England and Wales 1996-2007. The Vincent Wildlife Trust, Herefordshire, UK.

Croose, E., Birks, J.D.S., Schofield, H.W. and O’Reilly, C. 2014. Distribution of the Pine Marten (Martes martes) in southern Scotland in 2013. Scottish Natural Heritage Commissioned Report No. 740.

Grakov, N.N. 1993. Pine Marten and its harvest in Russia. Lutreola 2: 7–13.

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

Macpherson, J., Bavin, D. and Croose, E. 2015. Return of the native. British Wildlife 26: 154–159.

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.

O’Mahony, D., O’Reilly, C. and Turner, P. 2012. Pine Marten (Martes martes) distribution and abundance in Ireland: a cross-jurisdictional analysis using non-invasive genetic survey techniques. Mammalian Biology 77: 351–357.

Pavlov, M.P., Korsakova, I.B., Timofeev, V.V. and Safonov, V.G. 1973. Acclimatization of game mammals and birds in the USSR. Part 1. Volgo-Vyatskoe knizhnoe izdatelstvo, Kirov, Russia. [In Russian].

Citation: Herrero, J., Kranz, A., Skumatov, D., Abramov, A.V., Maran, T. & Monakhov, V.G. 2016. Martes martes. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T12848A45199169. . Downloaded on 24 September 2018.
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