Pine Marten Survey


KBIC Natural Resource Department captured and ear tagged five pine marten over a seven day period in July 2012 assisted by partner researchers from Little River Band Tribe, Grand Valley State University, and Mesker Park Zoo.  Partners came from lower MI to capture pine marten and obtain genetic material along with additional health information to compare marten from the lower peninsula with those from the upper peninsula.  The most notable difference in U.P. martens was a noticeably higher blood titre of antibodies from Toxoplasma, a parasite common in wild and domestic cats.  Partners would like to identify the parasite to a specific genotype with samples from trapped pine marten in 2013. Camera traps were maintained July through November to record number of tagged versus untagged animals detected at four separate study locations.  Data collected will be used to calculate a population estimate.  Although five marten is not a very large sample size, it will provide a snapshot of our local population.  KBIC intends to continue working with partners to explore the overlapping habitat use of pine marten and fisher which doesn’t often occur in other areas where pine martens have been studied.