Short Communication

Acta Theriologica

, Volume 57, Issue 4, pp 371-375

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Alternative strategies in the acquisition of home ranges by male pine martens in a high-density population

  • Andrzej ZalewskiAffiliated withMammal Research Institute, Polish Academy of Sciences Email author 


Two strategies of home range acquisition by male subadult pine martens (Martes martes) were described from a high-density population inhabiting Białowieża National Park. Four mother–offspring pairs were identified by genetic parentage assignments. Four subadult males showed two different strategies of home range acquisition: dispersal and sedentary. The dispersing males used an area 4–10 times larger than in sedentary subadult males. A sedentary subadult male used his natal area with his mother, and in the following mating season, this male left this area and established a home range that overlapped greatly with another unrelated female near the natal range. A similar high overlap between another subadult male and an unrelated adult female persisted for 3 years. After the death of this female, the male extended his range to overlap slightly with two to four other females. The sedentary strategy adopted by some subadult males may explain the great variation in spacing patterns of solitary mammals.


Martes martes Reproductive strategies Spacing pattern Solitary carnivores Optimality theory