The “Martes Complex” — An Opportunity to Bring Together Marten, Fisher, Sable, Wolverine, and Tayra Biologists

Posted on Mar 5, 2014


Gilbert PROULX and Keith B. AUBRY

Correspondence: Gilbert Proulx, Alpha Wildlife Research & Management Ltd., 299 Lilac Terrace, Sherwood Park, Alberta, T8H 1W3, Canada. Email:

Submitted 10 February 2014 – Accepted 5 March 2014


Recent phylogenetic studies have shown that the genus Martes is polyphyletic with respect to the Fisher (Pekania pennanti), which is more closely related to the Wolverine (Gulo gulo) and Tayra (Eira barbara) than it is to the martens. We refer to the 11 species in the genera Martes, Pekania, Gulo, and Eira as the “Martes Complex”. Because the species comprising the Martes Complex share many physical, behavioural, and ecological traits, we believe that biologists and managers interested in any of these species would benefit from meeting with colleagues and exchanging information and ideas to address challenging conservation issues.

Key Words: Fisher, Pekania pennanti, martens, Martes, Martes Complex, Sable, Tayra, Eira barbara, Wolverine, Gulo gulo



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