The Martes Complex: Opportunities for Developing Multi-species Management and Conservation Strategies

Posted on Nov 30, 2020


by Gilbert PROULX and Keith B. AUBRY
CWBM 9 (2): 49-67.

Correspondence: Gilbert Proulx – Alpha Wildlife Research & Management Ltd., 229 Lilac Terrace, Sherwood Park, Alberta, T8H 1W3, Canada.




The genera Martes, Pekania, Gulo, and Eira (the Martes Complex) share many life history traits and conservation challenges. In this paper, we discuss management and conservation strategies that can help address common concerns about the persistence of species in the Martes Complex in the face of increasing habitat loss and fragmentation, climate change, and other challenges to the sustainability of their populations and maintenance of their genetic diversity. We review management issues associated with the persistence of Martes populations, including productivity (e.g., management of natal and maternal dens, and resting sites), mortality factors (e.g., fur harvest, incidental trapping); refuges, and translocations. We also identify a series of measures to maintain vertical and horizontal structural complexity within forest stands, and mosaics of forest stands with varying ages and structures in forested landscapes. Additionally, we discuss various silvicultural approaches to managing cut blocks at stand and landscape scales. The strategies we recommend in this review can be successfully implemented for any species in the Martes Complex because they address common threats to their persistence. However, we need to learn much more about these species before we can develop comprehensive management programs, particularly for the subtropical martens (Martes spp.) and tayra (Eira barbara). Species in the Martes Complex play essential ecological roles that should be recognized in multi-species management and conservation efforts, and promoted in public education programs.

Keywords: Conservation Strategies, Fisher, Marten, Martes Complex, Tayra, Wildlife Management, Wolverine

2 - Proulx & Aubry 2020


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