Status of Pacific Martens on the Olympic Peninsula

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Pacific martens remain common in montane regions of Pacific coast U.S. states, yet their distribution and status on the Olympic Peninsula, Washington, is uncertain.

In recent decades, few verifiable records of marten occurrence have been obtained on the Olympic Peninsula. To assess the status of martens in this area, researchers revisited previous carnivore surveys, and deployed detection devices where martens were present historically and in areas that were previously underrepresented. Altogether, nine reliable detections of Pacific martens were obtained between 1968 and 2016, including six opportunistically from 1968 to 2008, two in 2015 and 2016 during surveys, and a photograph taken opportunistically in 2015. Evidence suggests martens are absent from the lower elevation regions they once occupied and occur at exceedingly low densities at higher elevations. To understand the trend in marten populations on the Peninsula and develop appropriate conservation strategies, additional broad- and fine-scale surveys using detection devices that enable the genetic identification of individuals are needed.


Moriarity, K., Aubry, K.B., Morozumi, C.N., Howell, B.L., Happe, P.J., Jenkins, K.J., Pilgrim, K.L., Schwartz, M.K., 2019, Status of Pacific martens (Martes caurina) on the Olympic Peninsula, Washington: Northwest Science, v. 93, no. 2, p. 122-139,

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Date published: November 14, 2017
Status: Active

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Contacts: Kurt J Jenkins