Updated: Aug 28
A small carnivore related to minks and otters, the coastal marten is found only in old-growth forest and dense coastal shrub in Northern California and southern and central coastal Oregon. The cat-like animals were once common, but because of trapping and habitat loss, the species was thought to have gone extinct.
Rediscovered in 1996, there are thought to be around 100 martens left in California and an equally small number are left in Oregon. And things aren’t looking good for the marten. Since they were rediscovered, we have seen an alarming dip in population. Between 2001 and 2012, the remaining population of Humboldt martens has declined by 42%.
More protections for the marten aren’t a done deal. The California Fish and Game Commission, an appointed board independent of the Department, will have the final say on whether the species will be protected at its August 23rd meeting at the River Lodge Conference Center in Fortuna. We know that the timber industry will be lobbying hard to prevent the listing. Save the date! We need committed activists like you there to be marten champions.
Because the Humboldt marten primarily lives in old growth forests, it is an umbrella species; therefore protecting the marten also protects old growth forests. If you support protecting the marten, please consider making a donation to EPIC. EPIC has pushed for the listing of the marten under the federal Endangered Species Act and the California Endangered Species Act. We have sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service—and won!—for their failure to protect the marten. And EPIC is gearing up for potential legal battles ahead to ensure that the marten will not only survive but thrive.
Need more cute in your life? Check out this fun video from California State Parks on their research on the marten!