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American Marten Study ~ Iron County Zach Wilson, Hurley & Mercer High Schools, General Public, North Lakeland Discovery Center, WDNR, Iron County Forestry.

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Presentation on theme: "American Marten Study ~ Iron County Zach Wilson, Hurley & Mercer High Schools, General Public, North Lakeland Discovery Center, WDNR, Iron County Forestry."— Presentation transcript:

1 American Marten Study ~ Iron County Zach Wilson, Hurley & Mercer High Schools, General Public, North Lakeland Discovery Center, WDNR, Iron County Forestry Dept. American Marten, an endangered species in Wisconsin, listed as a “species of concern,” and Native to much of Wisconsin. Through unregulated trapping, agricultural expansion and habitat decline martens were extirpated in Wisconsin by Since reintroduction in Wisconsin between , research suggests there has been little range expansion beyond the original two release sites. The Iron County Marten project was started to assist in locating martens outside of the reintroduction area and to collect data on home range and habitat use. Since 2007, citizens such as trappers, hunters, and students have captured and radio-collared, 11 martens in Iron County, which is outside of the reintroduction area. Abstract Methods In early fall, a training session for adult citizen science monitors and classroom instruction for high school students is conducted. Citizen researchers are trained to use a variety of techniques to survey for martens: DNA hair snares, humane live capture traps, game/ trail cameras, tracking surveys, and communication with local trappers and hunters. Surveyors explored aspects of forestry, soils, water quality, wildlife and ecosystem management. Once a marten was located, students and adults assisted in trapping and Radio-collaring the animals. Radio collared martens allowed detailed monitoring via use of radio-telemetry equipment and helped to determine home range size, survival rates, and habitat use. Following capture, students developed a research hypothesis on marten ecology and habitat use. They developed a study design, collected data and synthesized results. Overall, 148 citizens were involved with the marten project and over 700 hours were spent teaching workshops, conducting tracking surveys, trapping, collaring, and collecting data in Iron County. Mapping With GPS Trail Camera We completed a stand examination data form at 49 of the Marten locations. These locations were either, hunting / feeding areas, resting sites, or capture sites. The average basal area of the 49 locations is 189 basal area measured by a 10 foot factor. In general, this number is extremely high with either large trees present or small trees in dense forests. Note: Basel area was collected for all tree species and sizes Results 1-11 Marten Home Ranges Marten Captures (3 martens captured) Iron County Forest Manager Joe Vairus teaching about basal area and forest management Martens 1-11 have a very tight home range that is at times overlapping. We still believe that we have found a small nucleus of animals that could all be closely related. Regardless, of their relationship we have gained a lot of information on marten habitat and home range in Iron county. Marten # 3 (hot pink) is the only adult female we have captured and is almost exactly in the middle of all other home ranges. This year we recaptured a Juv. female of which we documented moved home range location about 3 miles away form original trap location. Discussion Recapture #6 Examining Health # 11 Un-collared marten on camera within #6 home range During the field season students and adult citizen science researchers focused within the core marten area but also started to expand the search beyond the known marten areas. As a result, two martens were indentified and two other probable marten sightings occurred. The field session will continue to search for new marten areas outside of Iron Counties known marten area. In our biggest effort was observing the reaction Marten #6 had to a small timber sale within his home range. To date the marten hasn’t changed his home range size or location however it has not been found resting within the cut area, where as; in the past it was the core resting site area. We plan on continuing to monitor marten #6 to see if he changes his home range as a result of the cutover. The project continues to show evidence of more reproduction with the capture of another Juvenile Male. Recapture # 10 Juv. female Out of all of the resting site locations our data shows that the marten chose to rest in trees 68% of the time, ground holes 25% of the time, brush piles 4%, and hollow logs 3%. Marten resting sites were placed in 4 categories. Brush Pile, hollow log, ground hole, and tree cavity. A total of 49 resting trees were used by the marten since 2007.Out of the 49 resting trees there were 9 different species. Cedar trees were used most of the time with an average diameter of 18.3, followed by yellow birch at 20.1,followed by hemlock at The other tree species were only used 1 or 2 times. The average diameter of all 49 trees was 13.8 inches in diameter. Over the past five years of data collection we have observed 49 different resting tree locations used by the marten. The tree species Northern White Cedar has been used the most by the marten, ranking at 38%, Hemlock was the second most used tree species at 20% and Yellow Birch was 16%. The other tree species listed appear to be insignificant in the data. Another interesting resting resting location was Black Spruce. Three times we found the marten resting in a Black Spruce witches broom. Radio- Telemetry #10 Pit Tag


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