Terra Nova National Park of Canada

Newfoundland Marten

(Martes Americana atrata)

NL Marten
NL Marten
© Parks Canada / Rod Cox

Status:   ENDANGERED
Approximately 300 animals

Family: Mustelidae (Weasel)

Description:

  • Slender body
  • Short limbs
  • Long bushy tail
  • Soft dense dark brown fur
  • Orange throat patch
  • Male: 1100 g, 50-63 cm (average)
  • Female: 750 g, 46-56 cm (average)

Range:

  • Only found on the Island of Newfoundland
  • Most of the population occurs in the Little Grand Lake area with other smaller populations near Red Indian Lake, Glover Island, Main River and the Terra Nova National Park area
  • Historically, marten were found throughout most forested areas of the island
NL Marten with a radio collar around the neck
NL Marten with a radio collar around the neck
© Parks Canada

Habitat:

  • Areas of late successional mixed or coniferous forests
  • Forest of this type provide the structure that marten need for feeding and shelter
  • Large home ranges
  • Male territory: 30 km 2
  • Female territory: 15 km 2

Reproduction:

  • Mate in late summer
  • Males may mate with 2-3 females
  • 2-3 kits born in spring or marten's third year
  • Denning sites are underground cavities created by fallen trees, rock piles, or woody debris
  • Young are born deaf, blind and naked
  • Adult size at 3 ½ months
A group of school children discover a NL marten as part of a field trip to Terra Nova National Park
A group of school children discover a NL marten as part of a field trip to Terra Nova National Park
© Parks Canada / David Saunders

Food:

  • Meadow vole
  • Snowshoe hare
  • Red Squirrel
  • Berries
  • Carrion

Limiting Factors & Threats:

  • Habitat loss due to forest harvesting
  • Accidental mortality due to snaring and trapping
  • Low population numbers in isolated pockets

Special Significance of Species:

  • 1 of only 14 native mammals on the Island of Newfoundland
  • Genetically distinct from marten on the mainland
  • Once trapped for fur
  • ENDANGERED