Reintroduction of the Pine Marten into the Nicolet National Forest, Forest County, Wisconsin
Davis, Mark H.
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, College of Natural Resources
MetadataShow full item record
One hundred twenty-four pine marten (Martes americana) (97 males: 27 females) were live-trapped in Canada and reintroduced into the 216 sq. mi. (560 sq. km) Fisher Management Unit (FMU) in the Nicolet National Forest between January 29, 1975 and April 3, 1976. Eight males and 18 females were released from holding pens a minimum of 1 week after arrival (gentle-release). The remaining pine marten were released within 1 day of arrival (quick-release). Twenty-one pine marten (9 males:12 females were radio-tagged to facilitate evaluation of the reintroduction program.- There was a significant difference between post-release movement measurements of radio-tagged gentle-release pine marten and radio-tagged quick-release pine marten. Gentle-release pens reduced post-release movements. Five radio-tagged pine marten (2 males:3 females) moved out of the FMU and into the upper peninsula of Michigan; maximum straight-line movement in a 30-hr. period was 14.48 mi. (23.30 km). Two females were radio-tracked during April 1975 and 6 females were radio-tracked during April 1976; no evidence of reproduction was found. Extrapolation of the radio telemetry data to the entire reintroduced population indicates that 12 females remained on the FMU in April 1976. Ten percent of the radiotagged pine marten were victims of predation. Five dead pine marten were recovered: 1 male was trapped, 1 male was shot, 1 male and one female were killed by predators, and 1 female died from injury inflicted by the radio-tag. Radio-tagged pine marten did not utilize any specific habitat type; the amount and types of habitat selected were directly proportional to the amount and types available. The FMU is closed to dry-set trapping to protect the reintroduced population. The success of the reintroduction program is still uncertain because of significant survival data and the relatively few females released, emigration, and there being no documentation of reproduction.