, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 95-101
Date: 07 Dec 2004

Home range and habitat use by the sable Martes zibellina brachyura in a Japanese cool-temperate mixed forest

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Abstract

Home range and habitat use of the sable Martes zibellina brachyura were studied in a cool-temperate mixed forest in northernmost Japan. In both sexes, some sables showed a wide range of migration without establishing home ranges and the others had home ranges of 0.50–1.78 km2 (mean: 1.12±SD 0.495 km2, n =6) which were not significantly correlated with body weight or age. The analysis of canine tooth annuli revealed that the maximum age was 5.5 years. The home ranges of some sables overlapped so extensively that the home ranges and even the core areas did not appear exclusive to other sables. We determined resting sites and foraging routes in snow in winter. Comparison of vegetation at the resting sites and foraging routes with habitat availability suggested that the sables preferred resting in dense-tree forests with many tree species and debris probably in order to avoid predators (red foxes) and strong wind and foraging in forests of climax succession which are usually rich in their prey such as voles and mice.