Assessing Humboldt Marten Prey Availability and Predator Abundance in Advance of Population Restoration
August 2013 - March 2016
The Humboldt marten (Martes caurina humboldtensis), a subspecies of marten endemic to the redwood region, was detected for the first time in recent history in Redwood National and State Parks (RNSP) in 2009; in 1996 the subspecies was detected in a national forest 20 miles east of the RNSP location, after presumed extirpated from its historic range. Until that time, the last verifiable record of the subspecies was from >50 years ago. Long-term persistence of the population is likely to be successful with restoration (“assisted dispersal” or reintroduction) of Humboldt martens to currently suitable old growth habitat in the short-term and restoration of old forest characteristics preferred by the marten in extensive second growth regions of RNSP over the coming decades. However, before steps can be taken to assist marten recolonization of suitable old growth habitat and design restoration actions to accelerate the return of suitable habitat conditions for marten in RNSP, prey availability and abundance and marten predator abundance must be assessed.