Martens and Fishers (Martes) in Human-Altered Environments

An International Perspective

  • Daniel J. Harrison
  • Angela K. Fuller
  • Gilbert Proulx

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiv
  2. Status, Distribution, and Life History

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Steven Ferguson, Serge Lariviére
      Pages 3-20
    3. Gilbert Proulx, Keith Aubry, Johnny Birks, Steven Buskirk, Clément Fortin, Herbert Frost et al.
      Pages 21-76
    4. William Krohn, Christopher Hoving, Daniel Harrison, David Phillips, Herbert Frost
      Pages 115-131
  3. Habitat Relationships

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 133-133
    2. Margarida Santos-Reis, Maria João Santos, Sofia Lourenço, João Tiago Marques, Iris Pereira, Bruno Pinto
      Pages 147-172
    3. Richard Weir, Fraser Corbould, Alton Harestad
      Pages 187-197
  4. Research and Management Approaches

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 199-199
    2. Keith Aubry, Samantha Wisely, Catherine Raley, Steven Buskirk
      Pages 201-220
    3. Johnny Birks, John Messenger, Tony Braithwaite, Angus Davison, Rachael Brookes, Chris Strachan
      Pages 235-252
    4. Herbert Frost, William Krohn
      Pages 253-263
    5. François Potvin, Laůrier Breton, Robert Patenaude
      Pages 265-273
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 275-279

About this book


Martens and Fishers (Martes) in Human-Altered Environments: An International Perspective examines the conditions where humans and martens are compatible and incompatible, and promotes land use practices that allow Martes to be representatively distributed and viable.

All Martes have been documented to use forested habitats and 6 species (excluding the stone marten) are generally considered to require complex mid- to late-successional forests throughout much of their geographic ranges. All species in the genus require complex horizontal and vertical structure to provide escape cover protection from predators, habitat for their prey, access to food resources, and protection from the elements. Martens and the fisher have high metabolic rates, have large spatial requirements, have high surface area to volume ratios for animals that often inhabit high latitudes, and often require among the largest home range areas per unit body weight of any group of mammals. Resulting from these unique life history characteristics, this genus is particularly sensitive to human influences on their habitats, including habitat loss, stand-scale simplification of forest structure via some forms of logging, and landscape-scale effects of habitat fragmentation. Given their strong associations with structural complexity in forests, martens and the fisher are often considered as useful barometers of forest health and have been used as ecological indicators, flagship, and umbrella species in different parts of the world. Thus, efforts to successfully conserve and manage martens and fishers are associated with the ecological fates of other forest dependent species and can greatly influence ecosystem integrity within forests that are increasingly shared among wildlife and humans.

We have made great strides in our fundamental understanding of how animals with these unique life history traits perceive and utilize habitats, respond to habitat change, and how their populations function and perform under different forms of human management and mismanagement. This knowledge enhances our basic understanding of all species of Martes and will help us to achieve the goal of conserving viable populations and representative distributions of the world’s Martes, their habitats, and associated ecological communities in our new millennium.


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Editors and affiliations

  • Daniel J. Harrison
    • 1
  • Angela K. Fuller
    • 1
  • Gilbert Proulx
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Wildlife EcologyThe University of MaineOronoUSA
  2. 2.Alpha Wildlife Research & Management Ltd.AlbertaCanada

Bibliographic information