Identifying science-based conservation opportunities for Humboldt martens

fine-scale habitat use, movement, and demography in landscapes that differ in forest composition

Principal Investigator: Katie Moriarty, PhD / NCASI, Senior Research Scientist Western Forestry Wildlife Ecologist

Collaborators: Humboldt State University, Oregon State University, UC Davis, and USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station

Supported by: Western Trade Association Member Companies, Green Diamond Resource Company, and Bureau of Land Management

Project Summary: This is a multi-faceted telemetry study paired with non-invasive techniques to evaluate critical information gaps for Humboldt martens (Martes caurina humboldtensis). No study is available to accurately portray information to inform habitat related management decisions for this state Endangered (California, CDFW 2019) and Federally Threatened (USFWS 2020) population segment. Connectivity and dispersal were identified as focal areas of concern.

Linking commonalties between study areas and populations, like whether martens will travel through openings of certain sizes, or if such behavior is dependent on landscape composition or ground based cover (e.g., slash piles, shrub density), is paramount for providing science-based cohesive management direction across populations.

This study will describe fine-scale habitat use, potential movement corridors, and demography (e.g., fecundity, causes of mortality) of Humboldt martens in remote areas, often considered inaccessible due to dense walls of shrub cover and steep terrain. This study will provide much needed science to help with identifying 4(d) rule related management opportunities and recovery efforts for federal partners.